Arginine methylation governs important cellular processes that impact growth and proliferation, as well as differentiation and development. Through their ability to catalyze symmetric or asymmetric methylation of histone and non-histone proteins, members of the protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) family regulate chromatin structure and expression of a wide spectrum of target genes. Unlike other PRMTs, PRMT5 works in concert with a variety of cellular proteins including ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers and co-repressors to induce epigenetic silencing. Recent work also implicates PRMT5 in the control of growth-promoting and pro-survival pathways, which demonstrates its versatility as an enzyme involved in both epigenetic regulation of anti-cancer target genes and organelle biogenesis. These studies not only provide insight into the molecular mechanisms by which PRMT5 contributes to growth control, but also justify therapeutic targeting of PRMT5.
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