mRNA adenosine methylase (MTA) deposits m6A on pri-miRNAs to modulate miRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana
Susheel Sagar Bhat,
Dariusz J. Smolinski,
Rupert G. Fray,
Posted 22 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/557900 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2003733117)
Posted 22 Feb 2019
m6A, one of the most abundant mRNA modifications, has been associated with various metabolic processes in plants. Here we show that m6A also plays a role in miRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Significant reductions in plant m6A/MTA levels results in lower accumulation of miRNAs whereas pri-miRNA levels tend to be higher in such plants. m6A-IP Seq and MTA-GFP RIP were used to show that many pri-miRNAs are m6A methylated and are bound by MTA, further demonstrating that pri-miRNAs can also be substrates for m6A methylation by MTA. We report that MTA interacts with RNA Pol II, supporting the assumption that m6A methylation is a co-transcriptional process, and also identify TGH, a known miRNA biogenesis related protein, as a novel protein that interacts with MTA. Finally, reduced levels of miR393b may partially explain the strong auxin insensitivity seen in Arabidopsis plants with reduced m6A levels.
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