What is it about?

Obesity and overweight are a major concern given their increasing prevalence and associated health problems. Recently, variants within the FTO gene—known to remove RNA epigenetic modifications, were identified as robustly associated with human obesity. While most attention was given to the m6A mRNA modification as the first identified target of FTO, new work has demonstrated that FTO can also efficiently remove the mRNA m6Am cap modification. However, the deposition and possible dynamic involvement of m6Am in obesity regulation and metabolism have not yet been characterized. Here, we investigate the liver m6A/m epigenetic profile in response to high fat diet. Our results strongly implicated a dynamic role for m6Am in obesity-related translation regulation, and reviled important gene targets that are epigenetically regulated.

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Why is it important?

Obesity and overweight are mediated by exposure to environmental triggers such as in high fat diet. Such exposures activate "epigenetic switches" that can regulate the level of expression of different target genes. In this paper we unveiled an important epigenetic layer of regulation at the RNA level.


This paper included extensive molecular and computational work. I am very happy with the outcome which can teach us much about the tight dynamics of gene expression by RNA epigenetic modulation.

Moshe Shay Ben Haim
Yale University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Dynamic regulation of N6,2′-O-dimethyladenosine (m6Am) in obesity, Nature Communications, December 2021, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27421-2.
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