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Mol Biol Cell. 1996 Aug;7(8):1249-58.

Methylation of high molecular weight fibroblast growth factor-2 determines post-translational increases in molecular weight and affects its intracellular distribution.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016, USA.


The high molecular weight (HMW) forms (24, 22.5, and 22 kDa) of basic fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) contain an N-terminal extension responsible for their predominantly nuclear localization. These forms of FGF-2 are post-translationally modified, resulting in a 1- to 2-kDa increase in apparent molecular mass. Here we show that this post-translational modification is inhibited by methionine starvation and by the methyltransferase inhibitors 5'-deoxy-5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA) and 3-deaza-adenosine. Inhibition of the methylation-dependent modification results in a significant decrease in HMW FGF-2 nuclear accumulation, suggesting that methylation is relevant to the intracellular distribution of these forms of FGF-2. Treatment with MTA does not affect either the synthesis or the intracellular fate of another nuclear protein, the SV40 large T antigen, demonstrating that this drug does not have a generalized effect on nuclear protein accumulation. These results link HMW FGF-2 post-translational modification to its intracellular distribution.

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