Arginine Methylation in Brain Tumors: Tumor Biology and Therapeutic Strategies.
ABSTRACT: Protein arginine methylation is a common post-translational modification that plays a pivotal role in cellular regulation. Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) catalyze the modification of target proteins by adding methyl groups to the guanidino nitrogen atoms of arginine residues. Protein arginine methylation takes part in epigenetic and cellular regulation and has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic diseases, and tumor progression. Aberrant expression of PRMTs is associated with the development of brain tumors such as glioblastoma and medulloblastoma. Identifying PRMTs as plausible contributors to tumorigenesis has led to preclinical and clinical investigations of PRMT inhibitors for glioblastoma and medulloblastoma therapy. In this review, we discuss the role of arginine methylation in cancer biology and provide an update on the use of small molecule inhibitors of PRMTs to treat glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, and other cancers.
Project description:Protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) enzymes play a crucial role in RNA splicing, DNA damage repair, cell signaling, and differentiation. Arginine methylation is a prominent posttransitional modification of histones and various non-histone proteins that can either activate or repress gene expression. The aberrant expression of PRMTs has been linked to multiple abnormalities, notably cancer. Herein, we review a number of non-histone protein substrates for all nine members of human PRMTs and how PRMT-mediated non-histone arginine methylation modulates various diseases. Additionally, we highlight the most recent clinical studies for several PRMT inhibitors.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Arginine methylation is an abundant posttranslational modification occurring in mammalian cells and catalyzed by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Misregulation and aberrant expression of PRMTs are associated with various disease states, notably cancer. PRMTs are prominent therapeutic targets in drug discovery. AREAS COVERED:The authors provide an updated review of the research on the development of chemical modulators for PRMTs. Great efforts are seen in screening and designing potent and selective PRMT inhibitors, and a number of micromolar and submicromolar inhibitors have been obtained for key PRMT enzymes such as PRMT1, CARM1, and PRMT5. The authors provide a focus on their chemical structures, mechanism of action, and pharmacological activities. Pros and cons of each type of inhibitors are also discussed. EXPERT OPINION:Several key challenging issues exist in PRMT inhibitor discovery. Structural mechanisms of many PRMT inhibitors remain unclear. There lacks consistency in potency data due to divergence of assay methods and conditions. Physiologically relevant cellular assays are warranted. Substantial engagements are needed to investigate pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of the new PRMT inhibitors in pertinent disease models. Discovery and evaluation of potent, isoform-selective, cell-permeable and in vivo-active PRMT modulators will continue to be an active arena of research in years ahead.
Project description:Histone methylation plays an important regulatory role in chromatin restructuring and RNA transcription. Arginine methylation that is enzymatically catalyzed by the family of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) can either activate or repress gene expression depending on cellular contexts. Given the strong correlation of PRMTs with pathophysiology, great interest is seen in understanding molecular mechanisms of PRMTs in diseases and in developing potent PRMT inhibitors. Herein, we reviewed key research advances in the study of biochemical mechanisms of PRMT catalysis and their relevance to cell biology. We highlighted how a random binary, ordered ternary kinetic model for PRMT1 catalysis reconciles the literature reports and endorses a distributive mechanism that the enzyme active site utilizes for multiple turnovers of arginine methylation. We discussed the impacts of histone arginine methylation and its biochemical interplays with other key epigenetic marks. Challenges in developing small-molecule PRMT inhibitors were also discussed.
Project description:Protein methylation, a post-translational modification (PTM), is observed in a wide variety of cell types from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. With recent and rapid advancements in epigenetic research, the importance of protein methylation has been highlighted. The methylation of histone proteins that contributes to the epigenetic histone code is not only dynamic but is also finely controlled by histone methyltransferases and demethylases, which are essential for the transcriptional regulation of genes. In addition, many nonhistone proteins are methylated, and these modifications govern a variety of cellular functions, including RNA processing, translation, signal transduction, DNA damage response, and the cell cycle. Recently, the importance of protein arginine methylation, especially in cell cycle regulation and DNA repair processes, has been noted. Since the dysregulation of protein arginine methylation is closely associated with cancer development, protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) have garnered significant interest as novel targets for anticancer drug development. Indeed, several PRMT inhibitors are in phase 1/2 clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the biological functions of PRMTs in cancer and the current development status of PRMT inhibitors in cancer therapy.
Project description:Despite intense research efforts, our pharmaceutical repertoire against high-grade brain tumours has not been able to increase patient survival for a decade and life expectancy remains at less than 16 months after diagnosis, on average. Inhibitors of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) have been developed and investigated over the past 15 years and have now entered oncology clinical trials, including for brain tumours. This review collates recent advances in the understanding of the role of PRMTs and arginine methylation in brain tumours. We provide an up-to-date literature review on the mechanisms for PRMT regulation. These include endogenous modulators such as alternative splicing, miRNA, post-translational modifications and PRMT-protein interactions, and synthetic inhibitors. We discuss the relevance of PRMTs in brain tumours with a particular focus on PRMT1, -2, -5 and -8. Finally, we include a future perspective where we discuss possible routes for further research on arginine methylation and on the use of PRMT inhibitors in the context of brain tumours.
Project description:Arginine methylation is a common post-translational modification that has been strongly implicated in transcriptional regulation. The arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) were first reported as transcriptional coactivators for the estrogen and androgen receptors. Compounds that inhibit these enzymes will provide us with valuable tools for dissecting the roles of these enzymes in cells, and will possibly also have therapeutic applications. In order to identify such inhibitors of the PRMTs, we have previously performed a high-throughput screen using a small molecule library. These compounds were named arginine methyltransferase inhibitors (AMIs). The majority of these inhibitors were polyphenols, and one in particular (AMI-18) shared additional features with a group of known xenoestrogens. We, thus, tested a panel of xenoestrogens and found that a number of them possess the ability to inhibit PRMT activity, in vitro. These inhibitors primarily target CARM1, and include licochalcone A, kepone, benzyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, and tamoxifen. We developed a cell-based reporter system for CARM1 activity, and showed that tamoxifen (IC(50) =30 ?M) inhibits this PRMT. The ability of these compounds to regulate the activity of transcriptional coactivators may be an unappreciated mechanism of action for xenoestrogens, and might also explain the efficacy of high-dose tamoxifen treatment on estrogen receptor negative cancers.
Project description:Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) have been implicated in the progression of many diseases. Understanding substrate recognition and specificity of individual PRMT would facilitate the discovery of selective inhibitors towards future drug discovery. Herein, we reported the design and synthesis of bisubstrate analogues for PRMTs that incorporate a <i>S</i>-adenosylmethionine (SAM) analogue moiety and a tripeptide through an alkyl substituted guanidino group. Compound AH237 is a potent and selective inhibitor for PRMT4 and PRMT5 with a half-maximal inhibition concentration (IC<sub>50</sub>) of 2.8 and 0.42 nmol/L, respectively. Computational studies provided a plausible explanation for the high potency and selectivity of AH237 for PRMT4/5 over other 40 methyltransferases. This proof-of-principle study outlines an applicable strategy to develop potent and selective bisubstrate inhibitors for PRMTs, providing valuable probes for future structural studies.
Project description:The protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) family of enzymes catalyzes the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosylmethionine to the guanidino nitrogen atom of peptidylarginine to form monomethylarginine or dimethylarginine. We created several less polar analogs of the specific PRMT inhibitor arginine methylation inhibitor-1, and one such compound was found to have improved PRMT inhibitory activity over the parent molecule. The newly identified PRMT inhibitor modulated T-helper-cell function and thus may serve as a lead for further inhibitors useful for the treatment of immune-mediated disease.
Project description:Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are proved to play vital roles in chromatin remodeling, RNA metabolism, and signal transduction. Aberrant regulation of PRMT activity is associated with various pathological states such as cancer and cardiovascular disorders. Development and application of small molecule PRMT inhibitors will provide new avenues for therapeutic discovery. The combination of pharmacophore-based virtual screening methods with radioactive methylation assays provided six hits identified as inhibitors against the predominant arginine methyltransferase PRMT1 within micromolar potency. Two potent compounds, A9 and A36, exhibited the inhibitory effect by directly targeting substrate H4 other than PRMT1 and displayed even higher inhibition activity than the well-known PRMT inhibitors AMI-1. A9 significantly inhibits proliferation of castrate-resistant prostate cancer cells. Together, A9 may be a potential inhibitor against advanced hormone-independent cancers, and the work will provide clues for the future development of specific compounds that block the interaction of PRMTs with their targets.
Project description:Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMT) are generally not mutated in diseased states, but they are overexpressed in a number of cancers, including breast cancer. To address the possible roles of PRMT overexpression in mammary gland tumorigenesis, we generated Cre-activated PRMT1, CARM1, and PRMT6 overexpression mouse models. These three enzymes are the primary type I PRMTs and are responsible for the majority of the asymmetric arginine methylation deposited in the cells. Using either a keratin 5-Cre recombinase (K5-Cre) cross or an MMTV-NIC mouse, we investigated the impact of PRMT overexpression alone or in the context of a HER2-driven model of breast cancer, respectively. The overexpression of all three PRMTs induced hyper-branching of the mammary glands and increased Ki-67 staining. When combined with the MMTV-NIC model, these in vivo experiments provided the first genetic evidence implicating elevated levels of these three PRMTs in mammary gland tumorigenesis, albeit with variable degrees of tumor promotion and latency. In addition, these mouse models provided valuable tools for exploring the biological roles and molecular mechanisms of PRMT overexpression in the mammary gland. For example, transcriptome analysis of purified mammary epithelial cells isolated from bigenic NIC-PRMT1 Tg and NIC-PRMT6 Tg mice revealed a deregulated PI3K-AKT pathway. In the future, these PRMT Tg lines can be leveraged to investigate the roles of arginine methylation in other tissues and tumor model systems using different tissue-specific Cre crosses, and they can also be used for testing the in vivo efficacy of small molecule inhibitors that target these PRMT. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings establish Cre-activated mouse models of three different arginine methyltransferases, PRMT1, CARM1, and PRMT6, which are overexpressed in human cancers, providing a valuable tool for the study of PRMT function in tumorigenesis.See related commentary by Watson and Bitler, p. 3.