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Nature. 2018 Nov;563(7730):249-253. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0666-1. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

m6A facilitates hippocampus-dependent learning and memory through YTHDF1.

Shi H1,2,3,4, Zhang X5,6, Weng YL7,8, Lu Z5, Liu Y5, Lu Z1,2,3,4, Li J5, Hao P5, Zhang Y5, Zhang F7,8, Wu Y9, Delgado JY10, Su Y7,8, Patel MJ10, Cao X11, Shen B12, Huang X5, Ming GL7,8,13,14,15, Zhuang X10, Song H16,17,18,19,20, He C21,22,23,24, Zhou T25.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
3
Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
4
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
5
School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai, China.
6
Laboratory Animal Center, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
7
Department of Neuroscience Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
8
Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
9
School of Life Sciences and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
10
Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
11
Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
12
State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
13
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
14
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
15
Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
16
Department of Neuroscience Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. shongjun@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
17
Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. shongjun@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
18
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. shongjun@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
19
Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. shongjun@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
20
The Epigenetics Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. shongjun@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
21
Department of Chemistry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. chuanhe@uchicago.edu.
22
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. chuanhe@uchicago.edu.
23
Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. chuanhe@uchicago.edu.
24
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. chuanhe@uchicago.edu.
25
School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai, China. zhoutao@shanghaitech.edu.cn.

Abstract

N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most prevalent internal RNA modification on mammalian messenger RNAs, regulates the fates and functions of modified transcripts through m6A-specific binding proteins1-5. In the nervous system, m6A is abundant and modulates various neural functions6-11. Whereas m6A marks groups of mRNAs for coordinated degradation in various physiological processes12-15, the relevance of m6A for mRNA translation in vivo remains largely unknown. Here we show that, through its binding protein YTHDF1, m6A promotes protein translation of target transcripts in response to neuronal stimuli in the adult mouse hippocampus, thereby facilitating learning and memory. Mice with genetic deletion of Ythdf1 show learning and memory defects as well as impaired hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. Re-expression of YTHDF1 in the hippocampus of adult Ythdf1-knockout mice rescues the behavioural and synaptic defects, whereas hippocampus-specific acute knockdown of Ythdf1 or Mettl3, which encodes the catalytic component of the m6A methyltransferase complex, recapitulates the hippocampal deficiency. Transcriptome-wide mapping of YTHDF1-binding sites and m6A sites on hippocampal mRNAs identified key neuronal genes. Nascent protein labelling and tether reporter assays in hippocampal neurons showed that YTHDF1 enhances protein synthesis in a neuronal-stimulus-dependent manner. In summary, YTHDF1 facilitates translation of m6A-methylated neuronal mRNAs in response to neuronal stimulation, and this process contributes to learning and memory.

PMID:
30401835
PMCID:
PMC6226095
[Available on 2019-04-30]
DOI:
10.1038/s41586-018-0666-1

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