PRMT1 regulates astrocytic differentiation of embryonic neural stem/precursor cells

J Neurochem. 2017 Sep;142(6):901-907. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14123. Epub 2017 Aug 2.


Arginine methylation is a post-translational modification which is catalyzed by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Here, we report that PRMT1 is highly expressed in neural stem/precursor cells (NS/PCs) of mouse embryos, and knockdown of PRMT1 in NS/PCs suppresses the generation of astrocytes. The luciferase assay demonstrated that knockdown of PRMT1 inhibits activation of the promoter of a typical astrocytic marker gene, glial fibrillary acidic protein (Gfap), in NS/PCs. The transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is known to generally be critical for astrocytic differentiation of NS/PCs. We found that PRMT1 methylates arginine residue(s) of STAT3 to regulate its activity positively, resulting in the promotion of astrocytic differentiation of NS/PCs.

Keywords: PRMT; STAT; Arginine methylation; Astrocyte.