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METTL3 promotes homologous recombination repair and modulates chemotherapeutic response by regulating the EGF/Rad51 axis

By Enjie Li, Mingyue Xia, Yu Du, Kaili Long, Feng Ji, Feiyan Pan, Lingfeng He, Zhigang Hu, Zhigang Guo

Posted 12 Nov 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.11.11.468249

METTL3 and N6-methyladenosine (m6A) are involved in many types of biological and pathological processes, including DNA repair. However, the function and mechanism of METTL3 in DNA repair and chemotherapeutic response remain largely unknown. In present study, we identified that METTL3 participates in the regulation of homologous recombination repair (HR), which further influences chemotherapeutic response in breast cancer (BC) cells. Knockdown of METTL3 sensitized BC cells to Adriamycin (ADR) treatment and increased accumulation of DNA damage. Mechanically, we demonstrated that inhibition of METTL3 impaired HR efficiency and increased ADR-induced DNA damage by regulating m6A modification of EGF/RAD51 axis. METTL3 promoted EGF expression through m6A modification, which further upregulated RAD51 expression, resulting in enhanced HR activity. We further demonstrated that the m6A "reader," YTHDC1, bound to the m6A modified EGF transcript and promoted EGF synthesis, which enhanced HR and cell survival during ADR treatment. Our findings reveal a pivotal mechanism of METTL3-mediated HR and chemotherapeutic drug response, which may contribute to cancer therapy.

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