Mitochondrial biogenesis and energy metabolism are essential for regulating the inflammatory state of monocytes. This state is partially controlled by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), a coactivator that regulates mitochondrial biogenesis and energy metabolism. Disruption of these processes can also contribute to the initiation of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis, atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3)-dependent N-methyladenosine (mA) methylation has recently been shown to regulate a variety of inflammatory processes. However, the role of mA mRNA methylation in affecting mitochondrial metabolism in monocytes under inflammation is unclear, nor is there an established relationship between mA methylation and PGC-1α. In this study, we identified a novel mechanism by which METTL3 acts during oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-induced monocyte inflammation, where METTL3 and YTH N-methyladenosine RNA binding protein 2 (YTHDF2) cooperatively modify PGC-1α mRNA, mediating its degradation, decreasing PGC-1α protein levels, and thereby enhancing the inflammatory response. METTL3 coordinated with YTHDF2 to suppress the expression of PGC-1α, as well as that of cytochrome c (CYCS) and NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit C2 (NDUFC2), and reduced ATP production and oxygen consumption rate (OCR). This subsequently increased the accumulation of cellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the levels of proinflammatory cytokines in inflammatory monocytes. These data may provide new insights into the role of METTL3-dependent mA modification of PGC-1α mRNA in the monocyte inflammation response. These data also contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the pathogenesis of monocyte-macrophage inflammation-associated diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis, atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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