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J Biol Chem. 1991 Nov 15;266(32):21515-22.

Effects of farnesylcysteine analogs on protein carboxyl methylation and signal transduction.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544-1014.


Several proteins associated with signal transduction in eukaryotes are carboxyl methylated at COOH-terminal S-farnesylcysteine residues. These include members of the Ras superfamily and gamma-subunits of heterotrimeric G-proteins. The enzymes that catalyze the carboxyl methylation reaction also methylate small molecules such as N-acetyl-S-trans, trans-farnesyl-L-cysteine (AFC). AFC inhibits carboxyl methylation of p21ras and related proteins both in vitro and in vivo. Saturating concentrations of AFC cause a greater than 80% inhibition of chemotactic responses of mouse peritoneal macrophages. Our results suggest that carboxyl methylation may play a role in the regulation of receptor-mediated signal transduction processes in eukaryotic cells.

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