mRNA N6-methyladenosine methylation of postnatal liver development in pig.

He S, Wang H, Liu R et al.

Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

PloS one. 2017.

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a ubiquitous reversible epigenetic RNA modification that plays an important role in the regulation of post-transcriptional protein coding gene expression. Liver is a vital organ and plays a major role in metabolism with numerous functions. Information concerning the dynamic patterns of mRNA m6A methylation during postnatal development of liver has been long overdue and elucidation of this information will benefit for further deciphering a multitude of functional outcomes of mRNA m6A methylation. Here, we profile transcriptome-wide m6A in porcine liver at three developmental stages: newborn (0 day), suckling (21 days) and adult (2 years). About 33% of transcribed genes were modified by m6A, with 1.33 to 1.42 m6A peaks per modified gene. m6A was distributed predominantly around stop codons. The consensus motif sequence RRm6ACH was observed in 78.90% of m6A peaks. A negative correlation (average Pearson’s r = -0.45, P < 10-16) was found between levels of m6A methylation and gene expression. Functional enrichment analysis of genes consistently modified by m6A methylation at all three stages showed genes relevant to important functions, including regulation of growth and development, regulation of metabolic processes and protein catabolic processes. Genes with higher m6A methylation and lower expression levels at any particular stage were associated with the biological processes required for or unique to that stage. We suggest that differential m6A methylation may be important for the regulation of nutrient metabolism in porcine liver. Pubmed

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