PRMT5 Cooperates with pICln to Function as a Master Epigenetic Activator of DNA Double-Strand Break Repair Genes

iScience. 2020 Jan 24;23(1):100750. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.100750. Epub 2019 Nov 29.


DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair is critical for cell survival and genome integrity. Upon recognition of DSBs, repair proteins are transiently upregulated to facilitate repair through homologous recombination (HR) or non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). We present evidence that PRMT5 cooperates with pICln to function as a master epigenetic activator of DNA damage response (DDR) genes involved in HR, NHEJ, and G2 arrest (including RAD51, BRCA1, and BRCA2) to upregulate gene expression upon DNA damage. Contrary to the predominant role of PRMT5 as an epigenetic repressor, our results demonstrate that PRMT5 and pICln can activate gene expression, potentially independent of PRMT5's obligate cofactor MEP50. Targeting PRMT5 or pICln hinders repair of DSBs in multiple cancer cell lines, and both PRMT5 and pICln expression positively correlates with DDR genes across 32 clinical cancer datasets. Thus, targeting PRMT5 or pICln may be explored in combination with radiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Keywords: Molecular Biology; Molecular Genetics; Molecular Mechanism of Gene Regulation.