The RNA-binding protein FMRP facilitates the nuclear export of N6-methyladenosine–containing mRNAs

Phillip J. Hsu, Hailing Shi, Allen C. Zhu, Zhike Lu, Nimrod Miller, Brittany M. Edens, Yongchao C. Ma*, Chuan He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant post-transcriptional mRNA modification in eukaryotes and exerts many of its effects on gene expression through reader proteins that bind specifically to m6A-containing transcripts. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein, has previously been shown to affect the translation of target mRNAs and trafficking of mRNA granules. Loss of function of FMRP causes fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability in humans. Using HEK293T cells, siRNA-mediated gene knockdown, cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions, RNA-Seq, and LC-MS/MS analyses, we demonstrate here that FMRP binds directly to a collection of m6A sites on mRNAs. FMRP depletion increased mRNA m6A levels in the nucleus. Moreover, the abundance of FMRP targets in the cytoplasm relative to the nucleus was decreased in Fmr1-KO mice, an effect also observed in highly methylated genes. We conclude that FMRP may affect the nuclear export of m6A-modified RNA targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19889-19895
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 27 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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