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The role of N6-methyladenosine modification in the life cycle and disease pathogenesis of hepatitis B and C viruses


N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prevalent modification of mammalian cellular RNAs. m6A methylation is linked to epigenetic regulation of several aspects of gene expression, including RNA stability, splicing, nuclear export, RNA folding, and translational activity. m6A modification is reversibly catalyzed by methyltransferases (m6A writers) and demethylases (m6A erasers), and the dynamics of m6A-modified RNA are regulated by m6A-binding proteins (m6A readers). Recently, several studies have shown that m6A methylation sites have been identified in hepatitis B virus (HBV) transcripts and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA genome. Here, we review the role of m6A modification in HBV/HCV replication and its contribution to liver disease pathogenesis. A better understanding of the functions of m6A methylation in the life cycles of HBV and HCV is required to establish the role of these modifications in liver diseases associated with these viral infections.

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