Abstract| Volume 43, ISSUE 9, SUPPLEMENT , S85, September 2015

Declined presentation PRMT5 methyltransferase activity is required to sustain adult hematopoiesis

      Epigenetic regulators have been shown to play critical roles in normal hematopoiesis, and their activity is frequently altered in hematopoietic cancers. Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) is the major type II PRMTs, catalyzing the symmetric di-methylation of arginine residues in histones (H2A, H3 and H4) and non-histone proteins. PRMT5 is over-expressed in several cancers, including acute leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. To define the role of PRMT5 in normal adult hematopoiesis, we generated PRMT5 conditional knockout mice using Mx1-cre. The induced deletion of both alleles of PRMT5 leads to severe pancytopenia and bone marrow aplasia with subsequent lethality in two weeks. First, loss of PRMT5 triggers the impaired proliferation and rapid disappearance of progenitor cells. At the same time, PRMT5 deficient HSCs show increased cell cycling and a transient HSC accumulation, which is rapidly followed by stem cell exhaustion. Mechanistically, we show that deletion of PRMT5 severely impairs cytokine signaling. It also up-regulates p53 protein level and the expression of p53 target genes. These effects likely account for the critical role of PRMT5 in HSPCs. We have conducted many additional experiments to show that these effects of PRMT5 deletion on hematopoiesis are cell autonomous; and also that the methyltransferase activity of PRMT5 is required to sustain normal hematopoiesis. Thus, we identify PRMT5 as a critical regulator of normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell biology.