Investigations into the prevalence and role of RNA methylationseem to be gathering pace, and receiving attention via high impact publications. I think this is an exciting new level of regulation ofRNAs, and could be key to understanding processes such as translational control and localization.
Two papers in particular, Dominissini et al, 2012, Nature [DOI] and Wang et al, 2014, Nature [DOI] have caught my attention. They both investigate the role of N6–methyladenosine, the most common non-cap mRNA modification.
Dominissini et al, produced an RNAmethylome (m6A) map for human and mouse using m6A–Seq (antibody pulldown followed by high throughput sequencing). Wang et al, demonstrated m6A-dependent regulation of mRNA stability, through recoginition ofm6A by YTDHDF2. Each paper defines an m6A consensus motifs:Gm6AC (Wang et al, Nature 2014) and RRm6ACH (or as a regular expression [AG][AG]AC[ACU]) (Dominissini et al, 2012, Nature).
I think these studies have only just begun to scratch the surface of the roles m6A methylation can play in translational regulation, and I look forward to reading more studies into the importance ofm6A.