If you are familiar with the reader, writer & eraser concepts or you are passionate about epigenetics and arginines, this recent publication might be of interest to you. The study addresses the transcription factor E2F-1, which plays a crucial role in the control of cell cycle and is linked with cancer. Like Yin-yang, it has opposing functional roles: to promote cell-cycle progression and to induce apoptosis. The results demonstrate that the biological outcome of E2F-1 activity is affected by arginine methylation marks. While asymmetric arginine methylation causes apoptosis, the symmetrical methylation results in proliferation. This reader-writer interplay determined by the two types of marks governs the function of E2F-1 and potentially the fate of the cell.