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Chem Biol. 2011 Nov 23;18(11):1369-78. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2011.08.019.

Arginylation and methylation double up to regulate nuclear proteins and nuclear architecture in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Protein arginylation and arginine methylation are two posttranslational modifications of emerging importance that involve Arg residues and their modifications. To test a hypothesis that posttranslationally added arginines can be methylated, we used high-precision mass spectrometry and metabolic labeling to find whether posttranslationally added arginines can serve as methylation sites. We identified a number of proteins in vivo, on which posttranslationally added Arg have undergone mono- and dimethylation. This double modification predominantly affects the chromatin-containing nuclear fraction and likely plays an important regulatory role in chromatin-associated proteins. Moreover, inhibition of arginylation and Arg methylation results in a significant reduction of the nucleus size in cultured cells, suggesting changes in chromatin compaction and nuclear architecture. Our findings suggest a functional link between protein regulation by arginylation and methylation that affects nuclear structure in vivo.

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