The role of coactivator associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) in nuclear receptor mediated transcription

Neelu Hariram Yadav, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Arginine methylation has been implicated in the regulation of gene expression. The coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARMI/PRMT4) binds the p160 family of steroid receptor coactivators (SRCs). This association enhances transcriptional activation by nuclear receptors. Here, we generated and characterized CARM1 knockout mice. Embryos with a targeted disruption of CARM1 are 35% smaller in size than the wild-type littermates and die perinatally. We also generated Carm1-/- and Carm1+/+ mouse embryonic fibroblasts and tested gene expression in response to estrogen. Estrogenresponsive gene expression was aberrant in Carm1-/- fibroblasts and embryos, thus emphasizing the role of arginine methylation as a transcription activation tag. We subsequently studied the role of CARM1 in estrogen signaling in viva in the mammary gland. Conditional knockout of CARM1 in mammary gland and Carml-1-embryonic mammary anlagen transplant experiments did not show any defects in growth and development of the glands. To further dissect the role of CARM1 in estrogen receptor mediated transactivation, we performed cDNA microarray and serial analysis of gene expression on Carm1-/- and Carm1+/+ embryos treated with the estrogen analog, DES. Our results indicate global changes in estrogen regulated genes as well as genes involved in lipid homeostasis. Marker genes for Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) activity, adipsin and aP2, are downregulated in the Carm1-/- embryos. Furthermore, OCT frozen sections of 18.5dpc embryos, processed simultaneously for oil red O staining to look for neutral fat, reveals greatly reduced brown fat accumulation in the Carm1-/- embryos in contrast to wild-type and gain-of-function Carm1 transgenic (ubiquitous) embryo. We used a well-established 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cell line to knockdown CARM1 by short hairpin RNA. 3T3-L1 cells with CARM1 knockdown showed greatly reduced potential to differentiate into mature lipid accumulating adipocytes upon administration of adipogenic stimuli. Ligand-dependent activation of reporter genes by the PPARγ receptor showed that PPRE-luciferase reporter activity was enhanced in the presence of CARM1, additionally, luciferase activity was reduced to background levels when enzyme dead CARM1 (CARM1-VLD) was used. Thus, in this study, we have identified novel pathways that use CARM1 as coactivator and showed that CARM1 functions as a key component of PPARγ receptor mediated gene expression.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Yadav, Neelu Hariram, "The role of coactivator associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) in nuclear receptor mediated transcription" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3249211.