Loss of PRMT7 reprograms glycine metabolism to selectively eradicate leukemia stem cells in CML

Cell Metab. 2022 Jun 7;34(6):818-835.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2022.04.004. Epub 2022 May 3.


Our group has reported previously on the role of various members of the protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) family, which are involved in epigenetic regulation, in the progression of leukemia. Here, we explored the role of PRMT7, given its unique function within the PRMT family, in the maintenance of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Genetic loss of Prmt7, and the development and testing of a small-molecule specific inhibitor of PRMT7, showed that targeting PRMT7 delayed leukemia development and impaired self-renewal of LSCs in a CML mouse model and in primary CML CD34+ cells from humans without affecting normal hematopoiesis. Mechanistically, loss of PRMT7 resulted in reduced expressions of glycine decarboxylase, leading to the reprograming of glycine metabolism to generate methylglyoxal, which is detrimental to LSCs. These findings link histone arginine methylation with glycine metabolism, while suggesting PRMT7 as a potential therapeutic target for the eradication of LSCs in CML.

Keywords: GLDC; JS1310; PRMT7; chronic myelogenous leukemia; epigenetic; glycine metabolism; leukemia stem cells; self-renewal; survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Glycine / metabolism
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive* / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive* / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive* / metabolism
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / genetics
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / metabolism
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / therapeutic use


  • PRMT7 protein, mouse
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases
  • Glycine