Protein arginine methyltransferases and cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Jan;13(1):37-50. doi: 10.1038/nrc3409. Epub 2012 Dec 13.


There are nine protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) encoded in mammalian genomes, the protein products of which catalyse three types of arginine methylation--monomethylation and two types of dimethylation. Protein arginine methylation is an abundant modification that has been implicated in signal transduction, gene transcription, DNA repair and mRNA splicing, among others. Studies have only recently linked this modification to carcinogenesis and metastasis. Sequencing studies have not generally found alterations to the PRMTs; however, overexpression of these enzymes is often associated with various cancers, which might make some of them viable targets for therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arginine / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Arginine
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases