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J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 4;275(5):3150-7.

Biochemical analysis of the arginine methylation of high molecular weight fibroblast growth factor-2.

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Department of Cell Biology, New York University Medical School, New York, New York 10013, USA.


The post-translational methylation of the N-terminally extended or high molecular weight (HMW) forms of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) has been shown to affect the nuclear accumulation of the growth factor. In this study, we determined the extent and position of methyl groups in HMW FGF-2. Using mass spectrometry and amino acid sequence analysis, we have shown that the 22- and 22.5-kDa forms of HMW FGF-2 contain five dimethylated arginines located at positions -22, -24, -26, -36, and -38 using the methionine residue normally used to initiate the 18-kDa form as position 0. The 24-kDa form of HMW FGF-2 contains seven to eight dimethylated arginines located at positions -48, -50, and -52, in addition to positions -22, -24, -26, -36, and -38. In vitro methylation reactions demonstrate that the N-terminal extension of HMW FGF-2 acts as a specific substrate for yeast Hmt1p and human HRMT1L2 arginine methyltransferases. These findings indicate that HMW FGF-2, with the presence of five or more dimethylated Gly-Arg-Gly repeats, contains an RGG box-like domain, which may be important for protein-protein and/or protein-RNA interactions.

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