Loss of RUNX1/AML1 arginine-methylation impairs peripheral T cell homeostasis

Academic Article


  • RUNX1 (previously termed AML1) is a frequent target of human leukaemia-associated gene aberrations, and it encodes the DNA-binding subunit of the Core-Binding Factor transcription factor complex. RUNX1 expression is essential for the initiation of definitive haematopoiesis, for steady-state thrombopoiesis, and for normal lymphocytes development. Recent studies revealed that protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1), which accounts for the majority of the type I PRMT activity in cells, methylates two arginine residues in RUNX1 (R206 and R210), and these modifications inhibit corepressor-binding to RUNX1 thereby enhancing its transcriptional activity. In order to elucidate the biological significance of these methylations, we established novel knock-in mouse lines with non-methylable, double arginine-to-lysine (RTAMR-to-KTAMK) mutations in RUNX1. Homozygous Runx1KTAMK/KTAMK mice are born alive and appear normal during adulthood. However, Runx1KTAMK/KTAMK mice showed a reduction in CD3+ T lymphoid cells and a decrease in CD4+ T cells in peripheral lymphoid organs, in comparison to their wild-type littermates, leading to a reduction in the CD4+ to CD8+ T-cell ratio. These findings suggest that arginine-methylation of RUNX1 in the RTAMR-motif is dispensable for the development of definitive haematopoiesis and for steady-state platelet production, however this modification affects the role of RUNX1 in the maintenance of the peripheral CD4+ T-cell population.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mizutani S; Yoshida T; Zhao X; Nimer SD; Taniwaki M; Okuda T
  • Start Page

  • 859
  • End Page

  • 873
  • Volume

  • 170
  • Issue

  • 6