Discovery of a Potent, Selective, and Cell-Active Dual Inhibitor of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 4 and Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 6

Well-characterized selective inhibitors of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are invaluable chemical tools for testing biological and therapeutic hypotheses. Based on 4, a fragment-like inhibitor of type I PRMTs, we conducted structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies and explored three regions of this scaffold. The studies led to the discovery of a potent, selective, and cell-active dual inhibitor of PRMT4 and PRMT6, 17 (MS049). As compared to 4, 17 displayed much improved potency for PRMT4 and PRMT6 in both biochemical and cellular assays. It was selective for PRMT4 and PRMT6 over other PRMTs and a broad range of other epigenetic modifiers and nonepigenetic targets. We also developed 46 (MS049N), which was inactive in biochemical and cellular assays, as a negative control for chemical biology studies. Considering possible overlapping substrate specificity of PRMTs, 17 and 46 are valuable chemical tools for dissecting specific biological functions and dysregulation of PRMT4 and PRMT6 in health and disease.