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Biochemistry. 2010 Jun 29;49(25):5225-35. doi: 10.1021/bi100428x.

Identification of protein N-terminal methyltransferases in yeast and humans.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 607 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Abstract

Protein modification by methylation is important in cellular function. We show here that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae YBR261C/TAE1 gene encodes an N-terminal protein methyltransferase catalyzing the modification of two ribosomal protein substrates, Rpl12ab and Rps25a/Rps25b. The YBR261C/Tae1 protein is conserved across eukaryotes; all of these proteins share sequence similarity with known seven beta-strand class I methyltransferases. Wild-type yeast cytosol and mouse heart cytosol catalyze the methylation of a synthetic peptide (PPKQQLSKY) that contains the first eight amino acids of the processed N-terminus of Rps25a/Rps25b. However, no methylation of this peptide is seen in yeast cytosol from a DeltaYBR261C/tae1 deletion strain. Yeast YBR261C/TAE1 and the human orthologue METTL11A genes were expressed as fusion proteins in Escherichia coli and were shown to be capable of stoichiometrically dimethylating the N-terminus of the synthetic peptide. Furthermore, the YBR261C/Tae1 and METTL11A recombinant proteins methylate variants of the synthetic peptide containing N-terminal alanine and serine residues. However, methyltransferase activity is largely abolished when the proline residue in position 2 or the lysine residue in position 3 is substituted. Thus, the methyltransferases described here specifically recognize the N-terminal X-Pro-Lys sequence motif, and we suggest designating the yeast enzyme Ntm1 and the human enzyme NTMT1. These enzymes may account for nearly all previously described eukaryotic protein N-terminal methylation reactions. A number of other yeast and human proteins also share the recognition motif and may be similarly modified. We conclude that protein X-Pro-Lys N-terminal methylation reactions catalyzed by the enzymes described here may be widespread in nature.

PMID:
20481588
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2890028
Free PMC Article
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