Special CCE Seminar
Over 150 types of post-transcriptional RNA modifications have been identified in all kingdoms of life. We have discovered two RNA demethylases, FTO and ALKBH5, which catalyze oxidative demethylation of the most prevalent modifications of mammalian messenger RNA (mRNA) and other nuclear RNA, N6-methyladenosine (m6A). These findings suggest that reversible RNA modification could impact biological regulation analogous to the well-known reversible DNA and histone chemical modifications. We have also characterized proteins that selectively recognize m6A-modified mRNA and affect the translation status and lifetime of the target RNA. I will present most recent work on elucidating transcriptional regulation through m6A methylation and demethylation, and impacts on mammalian early development as well as plant growth. I will also introduce new chemical methods we have developed to sequence various RNA modifications at base resolution with modification stoichiometry.