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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Dec 7;107(49):21211-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011987107. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

Type II protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) is required for circadian period determination in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


Posttranslational modification is an important element in circadian clock function from cyanobacteria through plants and mammals. For example, a number of key clock components are phosphorylated and thereby marked for subsequent ubiquitination and degradation. Through forward genetic analysis we demonstrate that protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5; At4g31120) is a critical determinant of circadian period in Arabidopsis. PRMT5 is coregulated with a set of 1,253 genes that shows alterations in phase of expression in response to entrainment to thermocycles versus photocycles in constant temperature. PRMT5 encodes a type II protein arginine methyltransferase that catalyzes the symmetric dimethylation of arginine residues (Rsme2). Rsme2 modification has been observed in many taxa, and targets include histones, components of the transcription complex, and components of the spliceosome. Neither arginine methylation nor PRMT5 has been implicated previously in circadian clock function, but the period lengthening associated with mutational disruption of prmt5 indicates that Rsme2 is a decoration important for the Arabidopsis clock and possibly for clocks in general.

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