Journal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Medical Science) ›› 2024, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (1): 137-144.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2024.01.016

• Review • Previous Articles    

Research progress of m6A methylation modification in regulating tumor immunity

ZHOU Haixia(), ZHANG Jing()   

  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Sixth People′s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200233, China.
  • Received:2023-09-06 Accepted:2024-04-18 Online:2024-01-28 Published:2024-02-28
  • Contact: ZHANG Jing;
  • Supported by:
    Shanghai Natural Science Foundation(21ZR1448700);"Two-hundred Talents" Program of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine(20191831)


N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prevalent modification that regulates gene expression in eukaryotes. It regulates splicing, degradation, stability, and translation of RNA. Numerous studies have demonstrated the close association between m6A methylation and tumor development, highlighting its crucial role in regulating tumor immune response. The m6A modification actively participates in governing immune cell differentiation and maturation as well as modulating anti-tumor immune responses. Within the tumor microenvironment, m6A modification can also impact the recruitment, activation, and polarization of immune cells, thereby either promoting or inhibiting tumor cell proliferation and metastasis. Consequently, it plays a pivotal role in reshaping the tumor immune microenvironment. In recent years, immunotherapy for tumors has been increasingly applied to clinical practice with notable success achieved through approaches such as immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and adoptive cell immunotherapy. Targeting m6A modifications to interfere with the immune system, such as targeting dysregulated m6A regulators through small molecule inhibitors and inducing immune cell reprogramming, can improve anti-tumor immune response and strengthen immune cells′ ability to recognize and kill tumor cells. The m6A modification represents a novel avenue for potential clinical application within tumor immunotherapy. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the regulatory impact of m6A methylation modification on immune cells in the context of cancer, while also delving into novel targets for tumor immunotherapy.

Key words: m6A methylation, tumor immunity, immunotherapy

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