N-methyladenosine mRNA marking promotes selective translation of regulons required for human erythropoiesis.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nature communications, Volume 10, Issue 1, p.4596 (2019)


Genomics Core Facility


Many of the regulatory features governing erythrocyte specification, maturation, and associated disorders remain enigmatic. To identify new regulators of erythropoiesis, we utilize a functional genomic screen for genes affecting expression of the erythroid marker CD235a/GYPA. Among validating hits are genes coding for the N-methyladenosine (mA) mRNA methyltransferase (MTase) complex, including, METTL14, METTL3, and WTAP. We demonstrate that mA MTase activity promotes erythroid gene expression programs through selective translation of ~300 mA marked mRNAs, including those coding for SETD histone methyltransferases, ribosomal components, and polyA RNA binding proteins. Remarkably, loss of mA marks results in dramatic loss of H3K4me3 marks across key erythroid-specific KLF1 transcriptional targets (e.g., Heme biosynthesis genes). Further, each mA MTase subunit and a subset of their mRNAs targets are required for human erythroid specification in primary bone-marrow derived progenitors. Thus, mA mRNA marks promote the translation of a network of genes required for human erythropoiesis.