Activation of METTL3 promotes white adipose tissue beiging and combats obesity
The induction of beige adipocytes in white adipose tissue, also known as WAT beiging, improves glucose and lipid metabolism. However, the regulation of WAT beiging at the posttranscriptional level remains to be studied. Here, we report that METTL3, the methyltransferase of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) mRNA modification, is induced during WAT beiging in mice. Adipose-specific depletion of Mettl3 gene undermines WAT beiging and impairs the metabolic capability of mice fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). Mechanistically, METTL3-catalyzed m6A installation on thermogenic mRNAs, including Krüppel-like factor 9 (Klf9), prevents their degradation. Activation of METTL3 complex by its chemical ligand methyl piperidine-3-carboxylate promotes WAT beiging, reduces body weight, and corrects metabolic disorders in diet-induced obese mice. These findings uncover a novel epitranscriptional mechanism in WAT beiging and identify METTL3 as a potential therapeutic target for obesity-associated diseases.