Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(7):2744-2758. doi:10.7150/ijbs.70458 This issue


The role of Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding proteins (IGF2BPs) as m6A readers in cancer

Chao-Yue Sun1#, Di Cao2#, Bin-Bin Du1, Cun-Wu Chen1, Dong Liu1✉

1. College of Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, West Anhui University, Lu'an, China.
2. Department of Radiology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Key Laboratory of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosis and Therapy, Guangzhou, 510060, P.R. China.
# These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Sun CY, Cao D, Du BB, Chen CW, Liu D. The role of Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding proteins (IGF2BPs) as m6A readers in cancer. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(7):2744-2758. doi:10.7150/ijbs.70458. Available from

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Graphic abstract

RNA can be modified by over 170 types of distinct chemical modifications, and the most abundant internal modification of mRNA in eukaryotes is N6-methyladenosine (m6A). The m6A modification accelerates mRNA process, including mRNA splicing, translation, transcript stability, export and decay. m6A RNA modification is installed by methyltransferase-like proteins (writers), and potentially removed by demethylases (erasers), and this process is recognized by m6A-binding proteins (readers). Notably, alterations of m6A-modified proteins (writers, erasers and readers) are involved in the tumorigenesis, progression and metastasis. Importantly, the fate of m6A-methylated mRNA is mediated mostly through m6A readers, and among these readers, insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding proteins (IGF2BPs) are unique RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that stabilize their targets mRNA via m6A modification. In this review, we update the writers, erasers and readers, and their cross-talks in m6A modification, and briefly discuss the oncogenic role of IGF2BPs in cancer. Most importantly, we mainly review the up-to-date knowledges of IGF2BPs (IGF2BP1/2/3) as m6A readers in an m6A-modified manner in cancer progression.

Keywords: N6-methyladenosine (m6A), IGF2BPs, Reader, Stabilization, Cancer