Press Releases

DATE2021.01.20 #Press Releases

Discovery of RNA-derived liquid factor responsible for signal transduction

Disclaimer: machine translated by DeepL which may contain errors.

-Expectations for the development of new nucleic acid drugs for inflammatory diseases

Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University

Graduate School of Pharmacy, Tohoku University

Graduate School of Life Science, Kumamoto University

Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

Japan Science and Technology Agency


It has recently become clear that RNA undergoes modifications such as methylation, and RNA modification research has become an active research field worldwide. Assistant Professor Akiko Ogawa of the Institute of Development, Aging, and Cancer, Tohoku University and Professor Fan-Ken Wei (formerly of the Graduate School of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University) have analyzed RNA modifications using "Modomics Technology," a comprehensive detection system for RNA modifications, and have been working with Associate Professor Asuka Inoue of the Graduate School of Pharmacy, Tohoku University; Professors Kazuhito Tomizawa and Toshihiro Inoue of the Graduate School of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University; Professor The research team conducted joint research with Associate Professor Asuka Inoue of Tohoku University's Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Kazuhito Tomizawa and Professor Toshihiro Inoue of Kumamoto University's Graduate School of Life Sciences, Professor Hidenobu Tanihara, Director of Kumamoto University Hospital, Professor Tsutomu Suzuki of the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Engineering, Assistant Professor Wataru Shibotani and Professor Nureki of the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Science, and others, and discovered that N6-methyladenosine ( m6A ), which is produced after RNA modification metabolism, causes a strong receptor signal response that triggers allergies and other inflammatory reactions (Fig. 1). We discovered that N6-methyladenosine (m6A), which is produced after the metabolism of RNA modification, triggers a strong receptor signaling response, leading to allergies and other inflammations (Figure).

Figure: Overview of this study

Although there have been many reports on the intracellular functions of RNA modifications, the physiological effects of factors secreted out of the cell after metabolism were not known. We newly proposed that RNA-derived modified nucleosides play an important role as bioactive liquid factors in vivo. In the future, the study of modified nucleosides in blood, urine, or in the eye is expected to lead to the development of diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.

The results of this research were published in the American scientific journal Molecular Cell on January 20 (January 19, US time).

For more information, please visit the Tohoku University website.