PRMT1 promotes pancreatic cancer growth and predicts poor prognosis

An Author Correction to this article was published on 02 December 2019

This article has been updated



Protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) is the founding member of the PRMT family of proteins, whose members catalyze methylation of arginine residues in various proteins. Although several studies have reported upregulation of PRMT1 in various cancer types, the expression pattern and the underlying mechanism of PRMT1 action in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are still unclear.


Immunohistochemistry staining as well as RT-PCR was used to determine the expression pattern of PRMT1 in clinical PDAC samples. Lentivirus packaging and transfection were employed to construct cell lines with PRMT1 overexpression or knockdown. MTT and crystal violet assays were used to determine the proliferation rates of PDAC cells. β-catenin transcription activity was measured using a TOPFlash assay. PRMT1 binding to the promoter region of CTNNB1 was determined by ChIP-qPCR assay.


Elevated PRMT1 expression was found in PDAC tissue samples compared to noncancerous normal tissues in 41 patients using a real-time PCR assay and in 90 patients using a tissue microarray (TMA) in conjunction with immunohistochemistry. Analysis of the PRMT1 expression data and PDAC clinical features revealed that PRMT1 expression was significantly correlated with PDAC tumor size and prognosis in postoperative patients. Additional functional experiments revealed that PRMT1 expression promoted the growth of pancreatic cancer-derived cells, both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, we found that PRMT1 increased the cellular β-catenin level. We also found that PRMT1 and β-catenin were co-expressed in TCGA and GTEx datasets containing 370 samples.


Collectively, our study provides novel insight into the expression and function of PRMT1 in PDAC and indicates that PRMT1 may serve as a therapeutic target for treating patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant number: 81572294) to Wenhui Lou. We thank professor YZ. Deng for his writing assistance and Dr. H Jiang for proofreading the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Dong Xie or Wenhui Lou.

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Song, C., Chen, T., He, L. et al. PRMT1 promotes pancreatic cancer growth and predicts poor prognosis. Cell Oncol. 43, 51–62 (2020).

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  • Pancreatic cancer
  • PRMT1
  • Prognosis
  • Proliferation
  • β-catenin