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Epigentek Introduces a New Method to Quantitate the “Fifth RNA Base” m6A in Cells and Tissues for RNA Methylation Studies
Published 10/16/2013
Research experts from Epigentek, the leading company specializing in epigenetics, have developed a new, breakthrough approach for the identification of the “fifth RNA base,” N6-methyladenosine (m6A) to efficiently study RNA methylation. This technology is based on a high throughput strip-well format and is also incorporated into the first commercially available product, the EpiQuik(TM) m6A RNA Methylation Quantification Kit, for rapidly quantifying m6A RNA methylation.

The proliferation of the study of epigenetics as well as the discovery of cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation have challenged the conventional understanding of genetics that DNA consists of only four bases. In 2012, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have further challenged traditional genetics by finding that the “fifth” nucleobase, m6A, is prevalent in the transcriptome -- subsequently giving rise to an interest in RNA methylation. The fact that over 5,000 different messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules contain m6A has implications of significant involvement in gene expression. According to the institution’s senior investigator of the 2012 study, “This finding rewrites fundamental concepts of the composition of mRNA because, for 50 years, no one thought mRNA contained internal modifications that control function.”

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most common and abundant methylation modification in RNA, accounting for more than 80% of all RNA methylation. The relative abundance of m6A in messenger RNA transcripts has been shown to affect RNA metabolism such as splicing, nuclear export, translation ability and stability, and RNA transcription. Abnormal m6A methylation levels induced by defects in m6A RNA methylase and demethylase could lead to dysfunction of RNA and diseases. Additionally, the dynamic and reversible chemical m6A modification on RNA may also serve as a novel epigenetic marker of profound biological significances.

Epigentek’s new quantification technique can be used for rapidly and accurately identifying m6A in RNA or detecting m6A-specific RNA methylation in a high throughput format, suitable for use in any species including mammals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and viruses in a variety of forms such as cultured cells, fresh and frozen tissues, paraffin-embedded tissues, plasma/serum samples, and body fluid samples. In the assay, RNA is bound to strip wells and the m6A contained in the RNA is then immunospecifically detected using a high quality m6A antibody.

The practicality of the new method was demonstrated in yet-to-be-published research performed by Epigentek scientists in which they found that m6A content clearly varies in different human cells/tissues. It was also found that m6A is abundant (0.17%) in human brain RNA. This realizes the usefulness of the EpiQuik(TM) m6A RNA Methylation Quantification Kit as a powerful tool in further unraveling the mystery of the epitranscriptome.

To complement the m6A detection technology and reinforce its comprehensive offering of RNA methylation tools, Epigentek also recently developed an RNA bisulfite conversion kit used for 5-methylcytosine specific RNA methylation analysis for use in RNA bisulfite sequencing and various other applications.

About Epigentek Group Inc.
Epigentek is a leading biotechnology company that focuses on developing and providing innovative technologies and products as a complete and systematic solution for epigenetic related research and drug discovery. Visit our informative website at
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