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Exp Parasitol. 1995 Dec;81(4):519-28.

Crithidia luciliae: effect of purine starvation on S-adenosyl-L-methionine uptake and protein methylation.

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  • 1Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0425, USA.


The utilization of S-adenosyl-L-[methyl-3H]methionine ([3H-methyl]AdoMet) by Crithidia luciliae was assessed under nutrient-replete and purine-starvation conditions. Uptake experiments with intact cells demonstrated that the radiolabel from this molecule was accumulated by purine-starved organisms at a rate approximately 10-fold greater than that observed in those cultivated in nutrient-replete medium. Purine-starved cells also incorporated the radiolabel into trichloroacetic acid insoluble material at an approximately 10-fold faster rate than nutrient-replete cells. No differences, however, were observed in the intracellular levels of AdoMet and its metabolites between organisms cultivated under the two conditions. Results of comparative labeling studies with [3H-methyl]AdoMet, S-adenosyl-L-[carboxyl-14C]methionine, L-[methyl-3H]methionine and L-[35S]methionine in the presence and absence of cycloheximide demonstrated that the incorporation of label from [3H-methyl]AdoMet was due to transmethylation and was independent of protein synthesis. Further, approximately 15 methylated protein bands were identified by SDS-PAGE analysis. Lysates from both purine-starved and nutrient-replete organisms demonstrated similar levels of activity of three protein methyltransferases (PMI, II, III). The differences observed in [3H-methyl]AdoMet utilization between purine-starved and nutrient-replete C. luciliae may reflect the enhanced purine transport capacity which results from purine starvation.

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