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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jun 4;279(23):23892-9. Epub 2004 Mar 31.

Small molecule regulators of protein arginine methyltransferases.

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The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas 78957, USA.


Here we report the identification of small molecules that specifically inhibit protein arginine N-methyltransferase (PRMT) activity. PRMTs are a family of proteins that either monomethylate or dimethylate the guanidino nitrogen atoms of arginine side chains. This common post-translational modification is implicated in protein trafficking, signal transduction, and transcriptional regulation. Most methyltransferases use the methyl donor, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet), as a cofactor. Current methyltransferase inhibitors display limited specificity, indiscriminately targeting all enzymes that use AdoMet. In this screen we have identified a primary compound, AMI-1, that specifically inhibits arginine, but not lysine, methyltransferase activity in vitro and does not compete for the AdoMet binding site. Furthermore, AMI-1 prevents in vivo arginine methylation of cellular proteins and can modulate nuclear receptor-regulated transcription from estrogen and androgen response elements, thus operating as a brake on certain hormone actions.

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