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Papers of the Week

January 27, 2023

Mol Neurobiol


METTL3-Mediated N6-Methyladenosine Modification of lncRNA D26496 Suppresses the Proliferation and Migration of Schwann Cells after Sciatic Nerve Injury.


Previous reports showed that LncRNA D26496 was downregulated and N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methyltransferase METTL3 was upregulated in sciatic nerve injury (SNI). YTH-Domain Family Member 2 (YTHDF2) regulated RNA degradation through recognizing m6A sites. However, whether METTL3-mediated m6A of D26496 plays a role in development of SNI is unknown. Therefore, in this study, we established a rat SNI model and a HO-induced Schwann cell injury model to investigate the role of D26496 in modulating SNI and how the expression of D26496 was regulated during this process. D26496 expression was downregulated in both models. Rats with SNI displayed severe oxidative stress, manifested as increased MDA production and decreased SOD and GSH activity. Moreover, overexpression of D26496 alleviated HO-induced Schwann cell injury likely by promoting cell proliferation and migration and suppressing cell apoptosis and oxidative stress. Mechanism studies found that METTL3 expression was upregulated after SNI, and silencing METTL3 reduced the D26496 m6A level, but upregulated D26496 expression. Subsequent studies found that YTHDF2 was upregulated after SNI, and abundant m6A modified D26496 in the precipitated protein-RNA complexes by anti-YTHDF2 antibody, whereas silencing YTHDF2 promoted D26496 expression but had no effect on m6A levels of D29496. Silencing D26496 reversed the protective effect of knocking down METTL3 or knocking down YTHDF2 on HO-induced cell damage. In vivo, D26496 overexpression alleviated SNI-induced neuropathic pain and oxidative stress. In conclusion, our results suggested that D26496 m6A modification mediated by METTL3 and recognition of D26496 m6A sites by YTHDF2 induced D26496 degradation, thereby participating in the progression of SNI.