Arginine methylation is carried out by protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMTs) family. Arginine methyltransferase inhibitor 1 (AMI-1) is mainly used to inhibit type I PRMT activity in vitro. However, the effects of AMI-1 on type II PRMT5 activity and gastric cancer (GC) remain unclear. In this study, we provided the first evidence that AMI-1 significantly inhibited GC cell proliferation and migration while induced GC cell apoptosis, and reduced the expression of PRMT5, eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), symmetric dimethylation of histone 3 (H3R8me2s) and histone 4 (H4R3me2s). In addition, AMI-1 inhibited tumor growth, downregulated eIF4E, H4R3me2s and H3R8me2s expression in mice xenografts model of GC. Collectively, our results suggest that AMI-1 inhibits GC by downregulating eIF4E and targeting type II PRMT5.