RNA m6A methylation promotes the formation of vasculogenic mimicry in hepatocellular carcinoma via Hippo pathway

Kailiang Qiao, Yantao Liu, Zheng Xu, Haohao Zhang, Heng Zhang, Chao Zhang, Zhi Chang, Xinyan Lu, Zhongwei Li, Ce Luo, Yanrong Liu, Cheng Yang, Tao Sun
Angiogenesis 2020 September 13
Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formed by aggressive tumor cells to mimic vasculogenic networks plays an important role in the tumor malignancy of HCC. However, the pathogenesis underlying VM is complex and has not been fully defined. m6A is a common mRNA modification and has many biological effects. However, the relationship between m6A and VM remains unclear. In this research, we found that m6A methyltransferase METTL3 in HCC tissues was positively correlated with VM. The m6A level of mRNA significantly increased in 3D cultured cells treated with VEGFa and was related to VM formation. Transcriptome sequencing analysis of 3D cultured cells with knockdown Mettl3 showed that the Hippo pathway was involved in m6A-mediated VM formation. Further mechanism research indicated that the m6A modification of YAP1 mRNA affected the translation of YAP1 mRNA. In conclusion, m6A methylation plays a key role in VM formation in HCC. METTL3 and YAP1 could be potential therapeutic targets via impairing VM formation in anti-metastatic strategies.

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