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Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Oct;41(19):9062-76. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt679. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Yeast Nop2 and Rcm1 methylate C2870 and C2278 of the 25S rRNA, respectively.

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Department of Molecular Genetics & Cellular Microbiology, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Goethe University, Max-von-Laue Str. 9, 60438 Frankfurt/M, Germany.


Yeast 25S rRNA was reported to contain a single cytosine methylation (m(5)C). In the present study using a combination of RP-HPLC, mung bean nuclease assay and rRNA mutagenesis, we discovered that instead of one, yeast contains two m(5)C residues at position 2278 and 2870. Furthermore, we identified and characterized two putative methyltransferases, Rcm1 and Nop2 to be responsible for these two cytosine methylations, respectively. Both proteins are highly conserved, which correlates with the presence of two m(5)C residues at identical positions in higher eukaryotes, including humans. The human homolog of yeast Nop2, p120 has been discovered to be upregulated in various cancer tissues, whereas the human homolog of Rcm1, NSUN5 is completely deleted in the William's-Beuren Syndrome. The substrates and function of both human homologs remained unknown. In the present study, we also provide insights into the significance of these two m(5)C residues. The loss of m(5)C2278 results in anisomycin hypersensitivity, whereas the loss of m(5)C2870 affects ribosome synthesis and processing. Establishing the locations and enzymes in yeast will not only help identifying the function of their homologs in higher organisms, but will also enable understanding the role of these modifications in ribosome function and architecture.

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