1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 1 Shuaifuyuan, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100010, China.
2. Department of Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, No. 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this study.
Rationale: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) mRNA methylation is the most abundant chemical posttranscriptional modification in mRNA and is involved in the regulation of a number of biological processes. Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1) has recently been reported as having the capacity to recognize m6A sites in mRNA and plays a role in regulating mRNA metabolization. However, it is unclear which genes IGF2BP1 targets to identify m6A sites and what are their respective functions in endometrial cancer (EC).
Methods: Quantitative PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to measure IGF2BP1 expression in EC cell lines and tissues. Xenograft experiments were performed to examine the in vivo role of IGF2BP1 in EC cell growth. RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation sequencing, methylated RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation sequencing and RNA-sequencing were also conducted to identify potential IGF2BP1 targets involved in EC regulation. Co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry were used to identify IGF2BP1-interacting proteins.
Results: IGF2BP1 expression increased in EC, and high expression of this protein correlated with poor prognosis. IGF2BP1 overexpression/knockdown can promote (and inhibit) cell proliferation and regulate the tumor cell cycle and cancer progression, both in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, IGF2BP1 can recognize m6A sites in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of Paternally Expressed Gene 10 (PEG10) mRNA and recruits polyadenylate-binding protein 1 (PABPC1) to enhance PEG10 mRNA stability, which consequently promotes PEG10 protein expression. Additionally, it would appear that a large number of PEG10 proteins bind p16 and p18 gene promoter sequences, thereby repressing expression and accelerating the cell cycle.
Conclusion: This investigation found that IGF2BP1 has a crucial role in the m6A-dependent regulatory mechanism for endometrial cancer. This study provides new insights into our understanding of disease progression and provides another potential route for understanding biological functions.
Keywords: N6-methyladenosine, IGF2BP1, endometrial cancer, PEG10, cell cycle