PRMT1 is a Novel Regulator of Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer [Signal Transduction]

April 6th, 2015 by Avasarala, S., Van Scoyk, M., Karuppusamy Rathinam, M. K., Zerayesus, S., Zhao, X., Zhang, W., Pergande, M. R., Borgia, J. A., DeGregori, J., Port, J. D., Winn, R. A., Bikkavilli, R. K.

Protein arginine methyl transferase 1 (PRMT1) was shown to be up-regulated in cancers and important for cancer cell proliferation. However, the role of PRMT1 in lung cancer progression, and metastasis remain poorly understood. In the present study, we show that PRMT1 is an important regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), cancer cell migration, and invasion, which are essential processes during cancer progression, and metastasis. Additionally, we have identified Twist1, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor and a well-known E-cadherin repressor, as a novel PRMT1 substrate. Taken together, we show that PRMT1 is a novel regulator of EMT and arginine 34 (R34) methylation of Twist1 as a unique methyl arginine mark for nuclear import of Twist1 and for active E-cadherin repression. Therefore, targeting PRMT1-mediated Twist1 methylation might represent a novel strategy for developing new anti-invasive/ anti-metastatic drugs. Moreover, methylated Twist1 (R34), as such, could also emerge as a potential important biomarker for lung cancer.