Chemo-resistance hinders the therapeutic efficacy of temozolomide (TMZ) in treating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Recurrence of GBM even after combination of maximal tumor resection, concurrent radio-chemotherapy, and systemic TMZ applocation is inevitable and attributed to the high therapeutic resistance of glioma stem cells (GSCs), which can survive, evolve, and initiate tumor tissue remodeling, the underlying mechanisms of GSCs chemo-resistance, have not been fully elucidated up-to-now. Emerging evidence showed that METTL3-mediated N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification contributed to the self-renew and radio-resistance in GSCs, however, its role on maintenance of TMZ resistance of GSCs has not been clarified and need further investigations. We found that the cell viability and half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of GSCs against TMZ significantly decreased after GSCs underwent serum-induced differentiation to adherent growth of tumor cells. Besides, METTL3 expression and total m6A modification declined dramatically in consistence with GSCs differentiation. Knockdown of METTL3 weakened self-renew, proliferation and TMZ IC50 of GSCs, whereas enhanced TMZ induced γH2AX level, indicating upregulation of double-strand DNA damage. We also found that mRNA stability of two critical DNA repair genes (MGMT and APNG) was regulated by METTL3-mediated m6A modification. In conclusion, we speculated that METTL3-mediated m6A modification of MGMT and APNG mRNAs played crucial roles on suppression of TMZ sensitivity of GSCs, which suggest a potential new therapeutic target of METTL3 against GBM.
© 2023. The Author(s).