Targeting genetic alterations in protein methyltransferases for personalized cancer therapeutics

Oncogene. 2013 Feb 21;32(8):939-46. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.552. Epub 2012 Nov 19.


The human protein methyltransferases (PMTs) constitute a large enzyme class composed of two families, the protein lysine methyltransferases (PKMTs) and the protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Examples have been reported of both PKMTs and PRMTs that are genetically altered in specific human cancers, and in several cases these alterations have been demonstrated to confer a unique dependence of the cancer cells on PMT enzymatic activity for the tumorigenic phenotype. Examples of such driver alterations in PMTs will be presented together with a review of current efforts towards the discovery and development of small-molecule inhibitors of these enzymes as personalized cancer therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Drug Discovery
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Epigenomics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Protein Methyltransferases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein Methyltransferases / genetics*
  • Protein Methyltransferases / metabolism


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Protein Methyltransferases