Knockdown of m6A methyltransferase METTL3 in gastric cancer cells results in suppression of cell proliferation

Li Jiang, Ting Chen, Li Xiong, Ji Hao Xu, Ai Yu Gong, Bin Dai, Ganlin Wu, Kenny Zhu, Eugene Lu, N. W. Mathy, Xian Ming Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification regulates multiple biological functions. Methyltransferase like 3 (METTL3), one of the major N6.methyltransferases, is highly expressed in gastric cancer, but its potential role in disease is unclear. The current study knocked out METTL3 (METTL3-KO) in human gastric cancer AGS cells using CRISPR/Cas9. METTL3-KO AGS cells exhibited decreased m6A methylation levels. A significant inhibition of cell proliferation was observed in METTL3-KO AGS cells. Silencing METTL3 in AGS cells altered the expression profile of many effector molecules that were previously demonstrated to serve key roles in AGS cell proliferation, including the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family of proteins. The results further demonstrated that SOCS2 upregulation in METTL3-KO AGS cells was associated with a decreased RNA decay rate. Furthermore, SOCS2 KO or SOCS2 overexpression caused a significant increase and decrease in AGS cell proliferation, respectively. The current data suggested that METTL3-KO in gastric cancer cells resulted in the suppression of cell proliferation by inducing SOCS2, suggesting a potential role of elevated METTL3 expression in gastric cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2191-2198
Number of pages8
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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