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The methylation of the C-terminal region of hnRNPQ (NSAP1) is important for its nuclear localization.

Centro de Biologia Molecular Estrutural, Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.28). 08/2006; 346(2):517-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.05.152
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Protein arginine methylation is an irreversible post-translational protein modification catalyzed by a family of at least nine different enzymes entitled PRMTs (protein arginine methyl transferases). Although PRMT1 is responsible for 85% of the protein methylation in human cells, its substrate spectrum has not yet been fully characterized nor are the functional consequences of methylation for the protein substrates well understood. Therefore, we set out to employ the yeast two-hybrid system in order to identify new substrate proteins for human PRMT1. We were able to identify nine different PRMT1 interacting proteins involved in different aspects of RNA metabolism, five of which had been previously described either as substrates for PRMT1 or as functionally associated with PRMT1. Among the four new identified possible protein substrates was hnRNPQ3 (NSAP1), a protein whose function has been implicated in diverse steps of mRNA maturation, including splicing, editing, and degradation. By in vitro methylation assays we were able to show that hnRNPQ3 is a substrate for PRMT1 and that its C-terminal RGG box domain is the sole target for methylation. By further studies with the inhibitor of methylation Adox we provide evidence that hnRNPQ1-3 are methylated in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate by immunofluorescence analysis of HeLa cells that the methylation of hnRNPQ is important for its nuclear localization, since Adox treatment causes its re-distribution from the nucleus to the cytoplasm.

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