Predict Epitranscriptome Targets and Regulatory Functions of N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) Writers and Erasers

Yiyou Song, Qingru Xu, Zhen Wei, Di Zhen, Jionglong Su, Kunqi Chen*, Jia Meng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, although many successful bioinformatics efforts have been reported in the epitranscriptomics field for N6-methyladenosine (m6A) site identification, none is focused on the substrate specificity of different m6A-related enzymes, ie, the methyltransferases (writers) and demethylases (erasers). In this work, to untangle the target specificity and the regulatory functions of different RNA m6A writers (METTL3-METT14 and METTL16) and erasers (ALKBH5 and FTO), we extracted 49 genomic features along with the conventional sequence features and used the machine learning approach of random forest to predict their epitranscriptome substrates. Our method achieved reasonable performance on both the writer target prediction (as high as 0.918) and the eraser target prediction (as high as 0.888) in a 5-fold cross-validation, and results of the gene ontology analysis of their preferential targets further revealed the functional relevance of different RNA methylation writers and erasers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEvolutionary Bioinformatics
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • N-methyladenosine (mA)
  • RNA methylation
  • epitranscriptome
  • random forest
  • target prediction


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