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RNA m6A Methyltransferase METTL3 Promotes The Growth Of Prostate Cancer By Regulating Hedgehog Pathway

Authors Cai J, Yang F, Zhan H, Situ J, Li W, Mao Y, Luo Y

Received 11 August 2019

Accepted for publication 11 October 2019

Published 5 November 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 9143—9152


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Federico Perche

Jiarong Cai,* Fei Yang,* Hailun Zhan, Jie Situ, Wenbiao Li, Yunhua Mao, Yun Luo

Department of Urology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510630, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yun Luo
Department of Urology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, 600 Tianhe Road, Guangzhou 510630, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 20 8217 9727

Purpose: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal modification on eukaryotic mRNA and gained increasing attention recently. More and more evidence suggest that m6A methylation plays crucial role in tumor genesis and development. However, its role in prostate cancer remains largely unknown.
Methods: METTL3 expression status in prostate cancer was analyzed by using TCGA database and Western blotting. m6A content was analyzed by using RNA Methylation Quantification Kit. The role of METTL3 in prostate cancer cells was determined by proliferation, survival, colony formation, and invasion assays. The m6A level of GLI1 RNA was detected by methylated RNA immunoprecipitation (MeRIP) assay. In vivo role of METTL3 was studied on xenograft models.
Results: We found that m6A methyltransferase METTL3 was overexpressed in prostate cancer cell lines, together with increased m6A content. Functionally, silencing of METTL3 by shRNA in prostate cancer cell lines resulted in decreased m6A content, cell proliferation, survival, colony formation, and invasion. Interestingly, overexpression of wild-type METTL3 abrogated the repression effect of METTL3 depletion on m6A content, cell proliferation, survival, colony formation, and invasion, while the overexpression of m6A catalytic site mutant METTL3 was unable to rescue the inhibitory effect caused by METTL3 depletion. Further mechanism analysis demonstrated that METTL3 silence decreased the m6A modification and expression of GLI1, an important component of hedgehog pathway, which led to cell apoptosis. Moreover, depletion of METTL3 inhibited tumor growth in vivo.
Conclusion: Our results suggested that the m6A methyltransferase METTL3 promotes the growth and motility of prostate cancer cells by regulating hedgehog pathway.

Keywords: RNA methylation, METTL3, prostate cancer, hedgehog, GLI1

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