Two zinc finger proteins with functions in m6A writing interact with HAKAI

Mi Zhang, Zsuzsanna Bodi, Katarzyna Mackinnon, Silin Zhong, Nathan Archer, Nigel P. Mongan, Gordon G. Simpson, Rupert G. Fray (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


The methyltransferase complex (m6A writer), which catalyzes the deposition of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in mRNAs, is highly conserved across most eukaryotic organisms, but its components and interactions between them are still far from fully understood. Here, using in vivo interaction proteomics, two HAKAI-interacting zinc finger proteins, HIZ1 and HIZ2, are discovered as components of the Arabidopsis m6A writer complex. HAKAI is required for the interaction between HIZ1 and MTA (mRNA adenosine methylase A). Whilst HIZ1 knockout plants have normal levels of m6A, plants in which it is overexpressed show reduced methylation and decreased lateral root formation. Mutant plants lacking HIZ2 are viable but have an 85% reduction in m6A abundance and show severe developmental defects. Our findings suggest that HIZ2 is likely the plant equivalent of ZC3H13 (Flacc) of the metazoan m6A-METTL Associated Complex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1127
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022


  • Plant development
  • Plant molecular biology
  • RNA modification


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