Arginine methylation mediated by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) has been shown to be an important posttranslational mechanism involved in various biological processes. Herein, we sought to investigate whether PRMT5, a major type II enzyme, is involved in pathological angiogenesis and, if so, to elucidate the molecular mechanism involved. Our results show that PRMT5 expression is significantly upregulated in ischemic tissues and hypoxic endothelial cells (ECs). Endothelial-specific Prmt5-KO mice were generated to define the role of PRMT5 in hindlimb ischemia–induced angiogenesis. We found that these mice exhibited impaired recovery of blood perfusion and motor function of the lower limbs, an impairment that was accompanied by decreased vascular density and increased necrosis as compared with their WT littermates. Furthermore, both pharmacological and genetic inhibition of PRMT5 significantly attenuated EC proliferation, migration, tube formation, and aortic ring sprouting. Mechanistically, we showed that inhibition of PRMT5 markedly attenuated hypoxia-induced factor 1-α (HIF-1α) protein stability and vascular endothelial growth factor–induced (VEGF-induced) signaling pathways in ECs. Our results provide compelling evidence demonstrating a crucial role of PRMT5 in hypoxia-induced angiogenesis and suggest that inhibition of PRMT5 may provide novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of abnormal angiogenesis-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetic retinopathy.


Qing Ye, Jian Zhang, Chen Zhang, Bing Yi, Kyosuke Kazama, Wennan Liu, Xiaobo Sun, Yan Liu, Jianxin Sun


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