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J Mol Biol. 2006 Nov 17;364(1):26-31. Epub 2006 Sep 8.

Identification of Escherichia coli m2G methyltransferases: II. The ygjO gene encodes a methyltransferase specific for G1835 of the 23 S rRNA.

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Department of Chemistry and AN Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.


Escherichia coli ribosomal RNA contains five guanosine residues methylated at N2. The ygjO gene was previously predicted to methylate 16 S rRNA residue G966 due to its high sequence homology with the protein RsmC, responsible for G1207 methylation. We have identified the target of YgjO as being m2G1835 of the 23 S rRNA and not m2G966 of the 16 S rRNA as expected. Knock-out of the ygjO gene leads to loss of modification at G1835, as revealed by reverse transcription. Moreover, the modification could be restored by in vivo complementation of the ygjO knock-out strain with a plasmid expressing ygjO. Recombinant YgjO protein is able to methylate in vitro protein-free 23 S rRNA, but not assembled 50 S subunits purified from the ygjO knock-out strain. The nucleotide m2G1835 is located in a functionally extremely important region of the ribosome, being located within intersubunit bridges of group B2. Growth competition assays reveal that the lack of the G1835 methylation causes growth retardation, especially at temperatures higher than optimal and in poor media. Based on these results we suggest that YgjO be renamed to RlmG in accordance with the accepted nomenclature for rRNA methyltransferases.

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