Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(1):271-284. doi:10.7150/ijbs.50003 This issue


The emerging roles of m6A modification in liver carcinogenesis

Xue-yin Pan1,2,3, Cheng Huang1,2,3, Jun Li1,2,3✉

1. Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, Anhui Institute of Innovative Drugs, School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230032, China.
2. The Key Laboratory of Anti-inflammatory of Immune Medicines, Ministry of Education.
3. Institute for Liver Diseases of Anhui Medical University.

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Pan Xy, Huang C, Li J. The emerging roles of m6A modification in liver carcinogenesis. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(1):271-284. doi:10.7150/ijbs.50003. Available from

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Graphic abstract

The 'epitranscriptome', a collective term for chemical modifications that influence the structure, metabolism, and functions of RNA, has recently emerged as vitally important for the regulation of gene expression. N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most prevalent mammalian mRNA internal modification, has been demonstrated to have a pivotal role in almost all vital bioprocesses, such as stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, heat shock or DNA damage response, tissue development, and maternal-to-zygotic transition. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is prevalent worldwide with high morbidity and mortality because of late diagnosis at an advanced stage and lack of effective treatment strategies. Epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation and histone modification have been demonstrated to be crucial for liver carcinogenesis. However, the role and underlying molecular mechanism of m6A in liver carcinogenesis are mostly unknown. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the m6A region and how these new findings remodel our understanding of m6A regulation of gene expression. We also describe the influence of m6A modification on liver carcinoma and lipid metabolism to instigate further investigations of the role of m6A in liver biological diseases and its potential application in the development of therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: Epitranscriptome, N6-methyladenosine, Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)