Nature chemical biology

Transcriptome-wide mapping reveals reversible and dynamic N(1)-methyladenosine methylome.

PMID 26863410


N(1)-Methyladenosine (m(1)A) is a prevalent post-transcriptional RNA modification, yet little is known about its abundance, topology and dynamics in mRNA. Here, we show that m(1)A is prevalent in Homo sapiens mRNA, which shows an m(1)A/A ratio of ∼0.02%. We develop the m(1)A-ID-seq technique, based on m(1)A immunoprecipitation and the inherent ability of m(1)A to stall reverse transcription, as a means for transcriptome-wide m(1)A profiling. m(1)A-ID-seq identifies 901 m(1)A peaks (from 600 genes) in mRNA and noncoding RNA and reveals a prominent feature, enrichment in the 5' untranslated region of mRNA transcripts, that is distinct from the pattern for N(6)-methyladenosine, the most abundant internal mammalian mRNA modification. Moreover, m(1)A in mRNA is reversible by ALKBH3, a known DNA/RNA demethylase. Lastly, we show that m(1)A methylation responds dynamically to stimuli, and we identify hundreds of stress-induced m(1)A sites. Collectively, our approaches allow comprehensive analysis of m(1)A modification and provide tools for functional studies of potential epigenetic regulation via the reversible and dynamic m(1)A methylation.