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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 24;104(30):12318-23. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Phosphorylation-mediated inactivation of coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1.

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McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, 1400 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Multiple protein arginine methyltransferases are involved in transcriptional activation of nuclear receptors. Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1)-mediated histone methylation has been shown to activate nuclear receptor-dependent transcription; however, little is known about the regulation of its enzymatic activity. Here, we report that the methyltransferase activity of CARM1 is negatively regulated through phosphorylation at a conserved serine residue. When the serine residue is mutated to glutamic acid, which mimics the phosphorylated serine residue, the mutant CARM1 exhibits diminished ability to bind the methyl donor adenosylmethionine and diminished histone methylation activity. Moreover, such mutation leads to the inhibition of CARM1 transactivation of estrogen receptor-dependent transcription. Our results provide an example for the regulation of protein arginine methyltransferase activity by phosphorylation. As CARM1 is a potent transcriptional coactivator of estrogen receptor, our results suggest that phosphorylation of CARM1 serves as a unique mechanism for inactivating CARM1-regulated estrogen-dependent gene expression.

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