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J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 24;281(47):35835-45. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

A novel SET domain methyltransferase in yeast: Rkm2-dependent trimethylation of ribosomal protein L12ab at lysine 10.

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

Erratum in

  • J Biol Chem. 2008 May 30;283(22):15512.


The ribosomal protein L12ab (Rpl12ab) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is modified by methylation at both arginine and lysine residues. Although the enzyme responsible for the modification reaction at arginine 66 has been identified (Rmt2), the enzyme(s) responsible for the lysine modification(s) has not been found, and the site(s) of methylation has not been determined. Here we demonstrate, using a combination of mass spectrometry and labeling assays, that the yeast gene YDR198c encodes the enzyme responsible for the predominant epsilon-trimethylation at lysine 10 in Rpl12ab. An additional site of predominant epsilon-dimethylation is observed at lysine 3; the enzyme catalyzing this modification is not known. The YDR198c gene encodes a SET domain similar to that of the Rkm1 enzyme responsible for modifying Rpl23ab, and we have now designated the YDR198c gene product as Rkm2 (ribosomal lysine methyltransferase 2). The effect of the loss of the enzyme on ribosomal complex stability was studied by polysomal fractionation. However, no difference was observed between the Deltarkm2 deletion strain and its parent wild type strain. With the identification of this enzyme, it appears that the 12 SET domain family members in yeast can now be divided into two subfamilies based on function and amino acid sequence identity. One branch includes enzymes that modify histones, including Set1 and Set2; the other branch includes Rkm1, Rkm2, and Ctm1, the cytochrome c methyltransferase. These studies suggest that the remaining seven SET domain proteins may also be lysine methyltransferases.

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