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J Biol Chem. 2001 Aug 31;276(35):32971-6. Epub 2001 Jun 18.

PRMT5 (Janus kinase-binding protein 1) catalyzes the formation of symmetric dimethylarginine residues in proteins.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095-1569, USA.


We have identified a new mammalian protein arginine N-methyltransferase, PRMT5, formerly designated Janus kinase-binding protein 1, that can catalyze the formation of omega-N(G)-monomethylarginine and symmetric omega-N(G),N(G')-dimethylarginine in a variety of proteins. A hemagglutinin peptide-tagged PRMT5 complex purified from human HeLa cells catalyzes the S-adenosyl-l-[methyl-(3)H]methionine-dependent in vitro methylation of myelin basic protein. When the radiolabeled myelin basic protein was acid-hydrolyzed to free amino acids, and the products were separated by high-resolution cation exchange chromatography, we were able to detect two tritiated species. One species co-migrated with a omega-N(G)-monomethylarginine standard, and the other co-chromatographed with a symmetric omega-N(G),N(G')-dimethylarginine standard. Upon base treatment, this second species formed methylamine, a breakdown product characteristic of symmetric omega-N(G),N(G')-dimethylarginine. Further analysis of these two species by thin layer chromatography confirmed their identification as omega-N(G)-monomethylarginine and symmetric omega-N(G),N(G')-dimethylarginine. The hemagglutinin-PRMT5 complex was also able to monomethylate and symmetrically dimethylate bovine histone H2A and a glutathione S-transferase-fibrillarin (amino acids 1-148) fusion protein (glutathione S-transferase-GAR). A mutation introduced into the S-adenosyl-l-methionine-binding motif I of a myc-tagged PRMT5 construct in COS-1 cells led to a near complete loss of observed enzymatic activity. PRMT5 is the first example of a catalytic chain for a type II protein arginine N-methyltransferase that can result in the formation of symmetric dimethylarginine residues as observed previously in myelin basic protein, Sm small nuclear ribonucleoproteins, and other polypeptides.

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