Arginine methyltransferases are regulated by Epstein-Barr virus in B cells and are differentially expressed in Hodgkin’s lymphoma

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Although there is increasing evidence that aberrant expression of those enzymes which control protein arginine methylation contribute to carcinogenesis, their de-regulation by oncogenic viruses in primary cells has yet to be reported. We first show that the protein arginine methyltransferases, CARM1, PRMT1 and PRMT5 are strongly expressed in Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, and up-regulated in Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) cell lines. Given that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) can be detected in approximately 50% of primary HL, we next examined how EBV infection of germinal centre (GC) B cells, the presumptive precursors of HRS cells, modulated the expression of these proteins. EBV infection of GC B cells was followed by the up-regulation of CARM1, PRMT1 and PRMT5, and by the down-regulation of the arginine deiminase, PADI4. Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), the major EBV transforming gene was shown to induce PRMT1 in GC B cells and in a stably transfected B cell line. The recent development of compounds which inhibit PRMT-mediated reactions provides a compelling case for continuing to dissect the contribution of virus induced changes in these proteins to lymphomagenesis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-64
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2012


  • protein arginine methyltransferases, Epstein-Barr virus, LMP1, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, PRMT1, epigenetics