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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Sep 12;134(36):14905-12. doi: 10.1021/ja304782r. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Se-adenosyl-L-selenomethionine cofactor analogue as a reporter of protein methylation.

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Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.


Posttranslational methylation by S-adenosyl-L-methionine(SAM)-dependent methyltransferases plays essential roles in modulating protein function in both normal and disease states. As such, there is a growing need to develop chemical reporters to examine the physiological and pathological roles of protein methyltransferases. Several sterically bulky SAM analogues have previously been used to label substrates of specific protein methyltransferases. However, broad application of these compounds has been limited by their general incompatibility with native enzymes. Here we report a SAM surrogate, ProSeAM (propargylic Se-adenosyl-l-selenomethionine), as a reporter of methyltransferases. ProSeAM can be processed by multiple protein methyltransferases for substrate labeling. In contrast, sulfur-based propargylic SAM undergoes rapid decomposition at physiological pH, likely via an allene intermediate. In conjunction with fluorescent/affinity-based azide probes, copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition chemistry, in-gel fluorescence visualization and proteomic analysis, we further demonstrated ProSeAM's utility to profile substrates of endogenous methyltransferases in diverse cellular contexts. These results thus feature ProSeAM as a convenient probe to study the activities of endogenous protein methyltransferases.

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