Inactivation of PRMT1 inhibits cardiac fibrosis via transcriptional regulation and perturbation of FBL activity in fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition

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Inactivation of PRMT1 inhibits cardiac fibrosis via transcriptional regulation and perturbation of FBL activity in fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition

Authors

Qian, J.; Jackson-Weaver, O.; Shen, Y.; Jin, J.; Chen, Y.; Li, M.; Subrumanyan, R. K.; Xu, J.

Abstract

Cardiac fibrosis is a recognized cause of morbidity and mortality, yet effective pharmacological therapy that directly targets the fibrotic process remains lacking. Here we surveyed a group of methyltransferases known as protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMT) and demonstrated that PRMT1, which is the most highly expressed PRMT in the heart, was upregulated in activated cardiac fibroblasts, or myofibroblasts, in failing hearts. Deleting Prmt1 specifically in myofibroblasts or treating systemically with the PRMT1 inhibitor MS023 blocked myofibroblast formation, leading to a significant reduction in cardiac fibrosis and improvement in cardiac function in both acute and chronic heart injury models that manifest pervasive cardiac fibrosis. PRMT1 promoted the transition of cardiac fibroblasts to myofibroblasts by regulating transcription and epigenetic status. Additionally, PRMT1 methylated a key nucleolar protein fibrillarin 1 (FBL) and regulated nucleoli morphology and function during fibroblast fate transition. We further demonstrated a previously unrecognized requirement for FBL in myofibroblasts formation, by regulating myofibroblast gene induction and contractile force generation.

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