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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jan 31;278(5):2956-62. Epub 2002 Nov 12.

Membrane topography of human phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Group on Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2, Canada.

Abstract

In liver, phosphatidylethanolamine is converted to phosphatidylcholine through a series of three sequential methylation reactions. Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT) catalyzes each transmethylation reaction, and S-adenosylmethionine is the methyl group donor. Biochemical analysis of human liver revealed that the methyltransferase activity is primarily localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria-associated membranes. Bioinformatic analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence suggested that the enzyme adopts a polytopic conformation in those membranes. To elucidate the precise membrane topography of PEMT and thereby provide the basis for in-depth functional characterization of the enzyme, we performed endoproteinase-protection analysis of epitope-tagged, recombinant protein. Our data suggest a topographical model of PEMT in which four transmembrane regions span the membrane such that both the N and C termini of the enzyme are localized external to the ER. Two hydrophilic connecting loops protrude into the luminal space of the microsomes whereas a corresponding loop on the cytosolic side remains proximate to the membrane. Further support for this model was obtained following endoproteinase-protection analysis of mutant recombinant PEMT derivatives in which specific protease cleavage sites had been genetically engineered or ablated.

PMID:
12431977
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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