What is it about?

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a prevalent RNA modification that plays a key role in regulating multiple functions of cellular and viral mRNA. We found that m6A modification of HIV-1 RNA suppresses the expression of antiviral cytokine type-I interferon (IFN-I) in differentiated human monocytic cells and primary monocyte-derived macrophages.

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Why is it important?

HIV-1 is known as a weak inducer of antiviral cytokines including IFN-I, but it is unclear how HIV-1 evades innate immunity. Our findings suggest that m6A modifications of HIV-1 RNA evade innate immune sensing in myeloid cells and that the cellular protein RIG-I contributes to innate sensing of m6A-defective HIV-1 RNA in differentiated monocytic cells.


Different types of RNA modifications including m6A within the HIV-1 genome modulate viral replication; however, the role of m6A modifications of HIV-1 RNA in regulating innate immune responses remains to be investigated. Our results provide new insights into the functions and mechanisms of m6A modifications of HIV-1 RNA in regulating innate immune sensing and responses in myeloid cells.

Li Wu
University of Iowa

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This page is a summary of: N6-methyladenosine modification of HIV-1 RNA suppresses type-I interferon induction in differentiated monocytic cells and primary macrophages, PLoS Pathogens, March 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009421.
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