Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades catecholamines, such as dopamine and epinephrine, by methylating them in the presence of a divalent metal cation (usually Mg(II)), and S-adenosyl-L-methionine. The enzymatic activity of COMT is known to be vitally dependent on the nature of the bound metal: replacement of Mg(II) with Ca(II) leads to a complete deactivation of COMT; Fe(II) is slightly less than potent Mg(II), and Fe(III) is again an inhibitor. Considering the fairly modest role that the metal plays in the catalyzed reaction, this dependence is puzzling, and to date remains an enigma. Using a quantum mechanical / molecular mechanical dynamics method for extensive sampling of protein structure, and first principle quantum mechanical calculations for the subsequent mechanistic study, we explicate the effect of metal substitution on the rate determining step in the catalytic cycle of COMT, the methyl transfer. In full accord with experimental data, Mg(II) bound to COMT is the most potent of the studied cations and it is closely followed by Fe(II), whereas Fe(III) is unable to promote catalysis. In the case of Ca(II), a repacking of the protein binding site is observed, leading to a significant increase in the activation barrier and higher energy of reaction. Importantly, the origin of the effect of metal substitution is different for different metals: for Fe(III) it is the electronic effect, whereas in the case of Ca(II) it is instead the effect of suboptimal protein structure.
The subcutaneous and systemic injection of serotonin reduces cutaneous and visceral pain thresholds and increases responses to noxious stimuli. Different subtypes of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors are suggested to be associated with different types of pain responses. Here we show that serotonin also inhibits catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme that contributes to modultion the perception of pain, via non-competitive binding to the site bound by catechol substrates with a binding affinity comparable to the binding affinity of catechol itself (Ki = 44 μM). Using computational modeling, biochemical tests and cellular assays we show that serotonin actively competes with the methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) within the catalytic site. Binding of serotonin to the catalytic site inhibits the access of SAM, thus preventing methylation of COMT substrates. The results of in vivo animal studies show that serotonin-induced pain hypersensitivity in mice is reduced by either SAM pretreatment or by the combined administration of selective antagonists for β2- and β3-adrenergic receptors, which have been previously shown to mediate COMT-dependent pain signaling. Our results suggest that inhibition of COMT via serotonin binding contributes to pain hypersensitivity, providing additional strategies for the treatment of clinical pain conditions.
The putative methyltransferase CmoA is involved in the nucleoside modification of transfer RNA. X-ray crystallography and mass spectrometry are used to show that it contains a novel SAM derivative, S-adenosyl-S-carboxymethyl-l-homocysteine, in which the donor methyl group is replaced by a carboxymethyl group.
Uridine at position 34 of bacterial transfer RNAs is commonly modified to uridine-5-oxyacetic acid (cmo5U) to increase the decoding capacity. The protein CmoA is involved in the formation of cmo5U and was annotated as an S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent (SAM-dependent) methyltransferase on the basis of its sequence homology to other SAM-containing enzymes. However, both the crystal structure of Escherichia coli CmoA at 1.73 Å resolution and mass spectrometry demonstrate that it contains a novel cofactor, S-adenosyl-S-carboxymethyl-l-homocysteine (SCM-SAH), in which the donor methyl group is substituted by a carboxymethyl group. The carboxyl moiety forms a salt-bridge interaction with Arg199 that is conserved in a large group of CmoA-related proteins but is not conserved in other SAM-containing enzymes. This raises the possibility that a number of enzymes that have previously been annotated as SAM-dependent are in fact SCM-SAH-dependent. Indeed, inspection of electron density for one such enzyme with known X-ray structure, PDB entry 1im8, suggests that the active site contains SCM-SAH and not SAM.
SCM-SAH; Escherichia coli; putative tRNA-modification enzyme; cmo5U biosynthesis
Flaviviruses encode a single methyltransferase domain that sequentially catalyzes two methylations of the viral RNA cap, GpppA-RNA→m7GpppA-RNA→m7GpppAm-RNA, by using S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) as a methyl donor. Crystal structures of flavivirus methyltransferases exhibit distinct binding sites for SAM, GTP, and RNA molecules. Biochemical analysis of West Nile virus methyltransferase shows that the single SAM-binding site donates methyl groups to both N7 and 2′-O positions of the viral RNA cap, the GTP-binding pocket functions only during the 2′-O methylation, and two distinct sets of amino acids in the RNA-binding site are required for the N7 and 2′-O methylations. These results demonstrate that flavivirus methyltransferase catalyzes two cap methylations through a substrate-repositioning mechanism. In this mechanism, guanine N7 of substrate GpppA-RNA is first positioned to SAM to generate m7GpppA-RNA, after which the m7G moiety is repositioned to the GTP-binding pocket to register the 2′-OH of the adenosine with SAM, generating m7GpppAm-RNA. Because N7 cap methylation is essential for viral replication, inhibitors designed to block the pocket identified for the N7 cap methylation could be developed for flavivirus therapy.
Preeclampsia is a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. This disorder is thought to be multifactorial in origin, with multiple genes, environmental and social factors, contributing to disease. One proposed mechanism is placental hypoxia-driven imbalances in angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors, causing endothelial cell dysfunction. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt)-deficient pregnant mice have a preeclampsia phenotype that is reversed by exogenous 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), an estrogen metabolite generated by COMT. 2-ME inhibits Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1α, a transcription factor mediating hypoxic responses. COMT has been shown to interact with methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), which modulates the availability of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a COMT cofactor. Variations in MTHFR have been associated with preeclampsia. By accounting for allelic variation in both genes, the role of COMT has been clarified. COMT allelic variation is linked to enzyme activity and four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs6269, rs4633, rs4680, and rs4818) form haplotypes that characterize COMT activity. We tested for association between COMT haplotypes and the MTHFR 677 C→T polymorphism and preeclampsia risk in 1103 Chilean maternal-fetal dyads. The maternal ACCG COMT haplotype was associated with reduced risk for preeclampsia (P = 0.004), and that risk increased linearly from low to high activity haplotypes (P = 0.003). In fetal samples, we found that the fetal ATCA COMT haplotype and the fetal MTHFR minor “T” allele interact to increase preeclampsia risk (p = 0.022). We found a higher than expected number of patients with preeclampsia with both the fetal risk alleles alone (P = 0.052) and the fetal risk alleles in combination with a maternal balancing allele (P<0.001). This non-random distribution was not observed in controls (P = 0.341 and P = 0.219, respectively). Our findings demonstrate a role for both maternal and fetal COMT in preeclampsia and highlight the importance of including allelic variation in MTHFR.
The SET and MYND Domain (SMYD) proteins comprise a unique family of multi-domain SET histone methyltransferases that are implicated in human cancer progression. Here we report an analysis of the crystal structure of the full length human SMYD3 in a complex with an analog of the S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) methyl donor cofactor. The structure revealed an overall compact architecture in which the “split-SET” domain adopts a canonical SET domain fold and closely assembles with a Zn-binding MYND domain and a C-terminal superhelical 9 α-helical bundle similar to that observed for the mouse SMYD1 structure. Together, these structurally interlocked domains impose a highly confined binding pocket for histone substrates, suggesting a regulated mechanism for its enzymatic activity. Our mutational and biochemical analyses confirm regulatory roles of the unique structural elements both inside and outside the core SET domain and establish a previously undetected preference for trimethylation of H4K20.
Dengue has become a major global health threat, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. The development of antiviral agent
targeting viral replication is really needed at this time. NS5 methyltransferase presents as a novel antiviral target. This enzyme
plays an important role in the methylation of 5'-cap mRNA. Inhibition of the NS5 methyltransferase could inhibit dengue virus
replication. In this research, two sites of NS5 methyltransferase (S-Adenosyl methionine/SAM binding site and RNA-cap site) were
used as targets for inhibition. As much as 300 commercial cyclic peptides were screened to these target sites by means of molecular
docking. Analysis of ligand-enzyme binding free energy and pharmacological prediction revealed two best ligands, namely
[Tyr123] Prepro Endothelin (110-130), amide, human and Urotensin II, human. According to molecular dynamic simulation, both
ligands maintain a stable complex conformation between enzyme and ligand at temperature 310 K and 312 K. Hence, Urotensin II,
human is more reactive at 312 K than at 310 K. However, both ligands can be used as potential inhibitor candidates against NS5
methyltransferase of dengue virus with Urotensin II, human exposes more promising activity at 312 K.
Dengue virus; NS5 methyltransferase; commercial cyclic peptides; molecular dynamics
The 16S rRNA methyltransferase Sgm from “Micromonospora zionensis” confers resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics by specific modification of the 30S ribosomal A site. Sgm is a member of the FmrO family, distant relatives of the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent RNA subfamily of methyltransferase enzymes. Using amino acid conservation across the FmrO family, seven putative key amino acids were selected for mutation to assess their role in forming the SAM cofactor binding pocket or in methyl group transfer. Each mutated residue was found to be essential for Sgm function, as no modified protein could effectively support bacterial growth in liquid media containing gentamicin or methylate 30S subunits in vitro. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, Sgm was found to bind SAM with a KD (binding constant) of 17.6 μM, and comparable values were obtained for one functional mutant (N179A) and four proteins modified at amino acids predicted to be involved in catalysis in methyl group transfer. In contrast, none of the G135, D156, or D182 Sgm mutants bound the cofactor, confirming their role in creating the SAM binding pocket. These results represent the first functional characterization of any FmrO methyltransferase and may provide a basis for a further structure-function analysis of these aminoglycoside resistance determinants.
Elucidating physiological and pathogenic functions of protein methyltransferases (PMTs) relies on knowing their substrate profiles. S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) is the sole methyl-donor cofactor of PMTs. Recently, SAM analogues have emerged as novel small-molecule tools to label PMT substrates. Here we reported the development of a clickable SAM analogue cofactor, 4-propargyloxy-but-2-enyl SAM, and its implementation to label substrates of human protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1). In the system, the SAM analogue cofactor, coupled with matched PRMT1 mutants rather than native PRMT1, was shown to efficiently label PRMT1 substrates. The transferable 4-propargyloxy-but-2-enyl moiety of the SAM analogue further allowed corresponding modified substrates to be characterized through a subsequent click chemical ligation with an azido-based probe. The SAM analogue, in combination with a rational protein-engineering approach, thus demonstrates potential to label and identify PMT targets in the context of a complex cellular mixture.
NovP is an S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferase that catalyses the penultimate step in the biosynthesis of the aminocoumarin antibiotic novobiocin. Specifically, it methylates at the 4-OH of the noviose moiety, and the resultant methoxy group is important for the potency of the mature antibiotic: previous crystallographic studies have shown that this group interacts directly with the target enzyme DNA gyrase, which is a validated drug target. We have determined the high resolution crystal structure of NovP from Streptomyces spheroides as a binary complex with its desmethylated co-substrate, S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine. The structure displays a typical class I methyltransferase fold, in addition to motifs that are consistent with a divalent metal-dependent mechanism. This is the first representative structure of a methyltransferase from the TylF superfamily, which includes a number of enzymes implicated in the biosynthesis of antibiotics and other therapeutics. The NovP structure reveals a number of distinctive structural features that, based on sequence conservation, are likely to be characteristic of the superfamily. These include a helical 'lid' region that gates access to the co-substrate binding pocket, and an active centre that contains a 3-Asp putative metal-binding site. A further conserved Asp likely acts as the general base that initiates the reaction by deprotonating the 4-OH group of the noviose unit. Using in silico docking we have generated models of the enzyme-substrate complex that are consistent with the proposed mechanism. Furthermore, these models suggest that NovP is unlikely to tolerate significant modifications at the noviose moiety, but could show increasing substrate promiscuity as a function of the distance of the modification from the methylation site. These observations could inform future attempts to utilise NovP for methylating a range of glycosylated compounds.
O-methyltransferase; Streptomyces spheroides; novobiocin; TylF superfamily; crystal structure
Several of the active compounds in foods, poisons, drugs, and industrial chemicals may, by epigenetic mechanisms, increase or decrease the risk of breast cancers. Enzymes that are involved in DNA methylation and histone modifications have been shown to be altered in several types of breast and other cancers resulting in abnormal patterns of methylation and/or acetylation. Hypermethylation at the CpG islands found in estrogen response element (ERE) promoters occurs in conjunction with ligand-bonded alpha subunit estrogen receptor (Erα) dimers wherein the ligand ERα dimer complex acts as a transcription factor and binds to the ERE promoter. Ligands could be 17-β-estradiol (E2), phytoestrogens, heterocyclic amines, and many other identified food additives and heavy metals. The dimer recruits DNA methyltransferases which catalyze the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) to 5′-cytosine on CpG islands. Other enzymes are recruited to the region by ligand-ERα dimers which activate DNA demethylases to act simultaneously to increase gene expression of protooncogenes and growth-promoting genes. Ligand-ERα dimers also recruit histone acetyltransferase to the ERE promoter region. Histone demethylases such as JMJD2B and histone methyltransferases are enzymes which demethylate lysine residues on histones H3 and/or H4. This makes the chromatin accessible for transcription factors and enzymes.
Emg1 was previously shown to be required for maturation of the 18S rRNA and biogenesis of the 40S ribosomal subunit. Here we report the determination of the crystal structure of Emg1 at 2 Å resolution in complex with the methyl donor, S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM). This structure identifies Emg1 as a novel member of the alpha/beta knot fold methyltransferase (SPOUT) superfamily. In addition to the conserved SPOUT core, Emg1 has two unique domains that form an extended surface, which we predict to be involved in binding of RNA substrates. A point mutation within a basic patch on this surface almost completely abolished RNA binding in vitro. Three point mutations designed to disrupt the interaction of Emg1 with SAM each caused>100-fold reduction in SAM binding in vitro. Expression of only Emg1 with these mutations could support growth and apparently normal ribosome biogenesis in strains genetically depleted of Emg1. We conclude that the catalytic activity of Emg1 is not essential and that the presence of the protein is both necessary and sufficient for ribosome biogenesis.
There are about fifty SET domain protein methyltransferases (PMTs) in the human genome, that transfer a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) to substrate lysines on histone tails or other peptides. A number of structures in complex with cofactor, substrate, or inhibitors revealed the mechanisms of substrate recognition, methylation state specificity, and chemical inhibition. Based on these structures, we review the structural chemistry of SET domain PMTs, and propose general concepts towards the development of selective inhibitors.
Methyltransferase; SET domain; structure; PMT; histone; epigenetics.
Bacterial spores possess an enormous resistance to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is largely due to a unique DNA repair enzyme, Spore Photoproduct Lyase (SP lyase) that repairs a specific UV-induced DNA lesion, the spore photoproduct (SP), through an unprecedented radical-based mechanism. Unlike DNA photolyases, SP lyase belongs to the emerging superfamily of radical S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) enzymes and uses a [4Fe–4S]1+ cluster and SAM to initiate the repair reaction. We report here the first crystal structure of this enigmatic enzyme in complex with its [4Fe–4S] cluster and its SAM cofactor, in the absence and presence of a DNA lesion, the dinucleoside SP. The high resolution structures provide fundamental insights into the active site, the DNA lesion recognition and binding which involve a β-hairpin structure. We show that SAM and a conserved cysteine residue are perfectly positioned in the active site for hydrogen atom abstraction from the dihydrothymine residue of the lesion and donation to the α-thyminyl radical moiety, respectively. Based on structural and biochemical characterizations of mutant proteins, we substantiate the role of this cysteine in the enzymatic mechanism. Our structure reveals how SP lyase combines specific features of radical SAM and DNA repair enzymes to enable a complex radical-based repair reaction to take place.
Unlike other transfer RNAs (tRNA)-modifying enzymes from the SPOUT methyltransferase superfamily, the tRNA (Um34/Cm34) methyltransferase TrmL lacks the usual extension domain for tRNA binding and consists only of a SPOUT domain. Both the catalytic and tRNA recognition mechanisms of this enzyme remain elusive. By using tRNAs purified from an Escherichia coli strain with the TrmL gene deleted, we found that TrmL can independently catalyze the methyl transfer from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to and isoacceptors without the involvement of other tRNA-binding proteins. We have solved the crystal structures of TrmL in apo form and in complex with S-adenosyl-homocysteine and identified the cofactor binding site and a possible active site. Methyltransferase activity and tRNA-binding affinity of TrmL mutants were measured to identify residues important for tRNA binding of TrmL. Our results suggest that TrmL functions as a homodimer by using the conserved C-terminal half of the SPOUT domain for catalysis, whereas residues from the less-conserved N-terminal half of the other subunit participate in tRNA recognition.
The Kms for esculetin and S-adenosyl-L-methionine for catechol O-methyltransferase from the yeast Candida tropicalis were 6.2 and 40 microM, respectively. S-Adenosyl-L-homocysteine was a very potent competitive inhibitor with respect to S-adenosyl-L-methionine, with a Ki of 6.9 microM. Of the catechol-related inhibitors, purpurogallin, with a Ki of 0.07 microM, showed the greatest inhibitory effect. Sulfhydryl group-blocking reagents, such as thiol-oxidizing 2-iodosobenzoic acid and mercaptide-forming p-chloromercuribenzoic acid, provided evidence for sulfhydryl groups in the active site of the enzyme. Yeast catechol O-methyltransferase is a metal-dependent enzyme and requires Mg2+ for full activity. Zn2+ and Mn2+ but not Ca2+ were able to substitute for Mg2+. Mn2+ showed optimal enzyme activation at concentrations 50- to 100-fold lower than those of Mg2+.
S-box (SAM-I) riboswitches are a widespread class of riboswitches involved in the regulation of sulfur metabolism in Gram-positive bacteria. We report here the 3.0-Å crystal structure of the aptamer domain of the Bacillus subtilis yitJ S-box (SAM-I) riboswitch bound to S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM). The RNA folds into two sets of helical stacks spatially arranged by tertiary interactions including a K-turn and a pseudoknot at a four-way junction. The tertiary structure is further stabilized by metal coordination, extensive ribose zipper interactions, and SAM-mediated tertiary interactions. Despite structural differences in the peripheral regions, the SAM-binding core of the B. subtilis yitJ riboswitch is virtually superimposable with the previously determined Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis yitJ riboswitch structure, suggesting that a highly conserved ligand-recognition mechanism is utilized by all S-box riboswitches. SHAPE (selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension) chemical probing analysis further revealed that the alternative base-pairing element in the expression platform controls the conformational switching process. In the absence of SAM, the apo yitJ aptamer domain folds predominantly into a pre-binding conformation that resembles, but is not identical with, the SAM-bound state. We propose that SAM enters the ligand-binding site through the “J1/2–J3/4” gate and “locks” down the SAM-bound conformation through an induced-fit mechanism. Temperature-dependent SHAPE revealed that the tertiary interaction-stabilized SAM-binding core is extremely stable, likely due to the cooperative RNA folding behavior. Mutational studies revealed that certain modifications in the SAM-binding region result in loss of SAM binding and constitutive termination, which suggests that these mutations lock the RNA into a form that resembles the SAM-bound form in the absence of SAM.
riboswitch; S-box; SAM-I; SHAPE; SAM
O-linked methylation of sugar substituents is a common modification in the biosynthesis of many natural products, and is catalyzed by multiple families of S-adenosyl-L-methioine (SAM or AdoMet) dependent methyltransferases. Mycinamicins, potent antibiotics from Micromonospora griseorubida, can be methylated at two positions on a 6-deoxyallose substituent. The first methylation is catalyzed by MycE, a SAM- and metal-dependent methyltransferase. Crystal structures were determined for MycE bound to the product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (SAH or AdoHcy) and magnesium, both with and without the natural substrate, mycinamicin VI. This represents the first structure of a natural product sugar methyltransferase in complex with its natural substrate. MycE is a tetramer of a two-domain polypeptide, comprising a C-terminal catalytic methyltransferase domain and an N-terminal auxiliary domain, which is important for quaternary assembly and for substrate binding. The symmetric MycE tetramer has a novel methyltransferase organization in which each of the four active sites is formed at the junction of three monomers within the tetramer. The active site structure supports a mechanism in which a conserved histidine acts as a general base, and the metal ion helps to position the methyl acceptor, and to stabilize a hydroxylate intermediate. A conserved tyrosine is suggested to support activity through interactions with the transferred methyl group from the SAM methyl donor. The structure of the free enzyme reveals a dramatic order-disorder transition in the active site relative to the SAH complexes, suggesting a mechanism for product/substrate exchange through concerted movement of five loops and the polypeptide C-terminus.
Purpose: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inactivates the estradiol metabolites, 2-hydroxy and 4-hydroxy catechols, which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. A COMT valine to methionine polymorphism (G-to-A) in exon 4 of the COMT gene is polymorphic in the human population, with 25% of Caucasians being homozygous for the low-activity allele (COMT-L) of the enzyme. In a case-control study we investigated whether this COMT polymorphism is associated with endometriosis.
Methods: Polymerase chain reaction was performed to analyze the COMT genotype among women with surgically and histologically confirmed endometriosis (study group; n = 91) and in women without evidence of endometriosis confirmed by laparoscopy or laparotomy (control group; n = 92).
Results: Allele frequencies for the low-activity allele (COMT-L) among women with endometriosis and controls were 0.50 and 0.50, respectively (p = 0.999; odds ratio = 1.0, 95% CI: 0.66–1.51).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the valine to methionine polymorphism in exon 4 of the COMT gene is not associated with the risk of endometriosis compared to a surgical control population.
Endometriosis; COMT; polymorphism; catecholestrogens; Caucasian population
Structural details of protein–protein interactions are invaluable for understanding and deciphering biological mechanisms. Computational docking methods aim to predict the structure of a protein–protein complex given the structures of its single components. Protein flexibility and the absence of robust scoring functions pose a great challenge in the docking field. Due to these difficulties most of the docking methods involve a two-tier approach: coarse global search for feasible orientations that treats proteins as rigid bodies, followed by an accurate refinement stage that aims to introduce flexibility into the process. The FireDock web server, presented here, is the first web server for flexible refinement and scoring of protein–protein docking solutions. It includes optimization of side-chain conformations and rigid-body orientation and allows a high-throughput refinement. The server provides a user-friendly interface and a 3D visualization of the results. A docking protocol consisting of a global search by PatchDock and a refinement by FireDock was extensively tested. The protocol was successful in refining and scoring docking solution candidates for cases taken from docking benchmarks. We provide an option for using this protocol by automatic redirection of PatchDock candidate solutions to the FireDock web server for refinement. The FireDock web server is available at http://bioinfo3d.cs.tau.ac.il/FireDock/.
There are many unique aspects of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transcription. In addition to its unusual mRNA capping and methyltransferase mechanisms, the addition of S-adenosyl homocysteine (SAH), which is the by-product and competitive inhibitor of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM)-mediated methyltransferase reactions, leads to synthesis of poly(A) tails on the 3′ end of VSV mRNAs that are 10- or 20-fold longer than normal. The mechanism by which this occurs is not understood, since it has been shown that productive transcription is not dependent on 5′ cap methylation and full-length VSV mRNAs can be synthesized in the absence of SAM. To investigate this unusual phenotype, we assayed the effects of SAH on transcription using a panel of recombinant viruses that contained mutations in domain VI of the VSV L protein. The L proteins we investigated displayed a range of 5′ cap methyltransferase activities. In the present study, we show that the ability of the VSV L protein to catalyze methyl transfer correlates with its sensitivity to SAH with respect to polyadenylation, thereby indicating an intriguing connection between 5′ and 3′ end mRNA modifications. We also identified an L protein mutant that hyperpolyadenylates mRNA irrespective of the presence or absence of exogenous SAH. Further, the data presented here show that the wild-type L protein hyperpolyadenylates a percentage of VSV mRNAs in infected cells as well as in vitro.
The crystal structure of A. pernix fibrillarin includes a tightly bound S-adenosyl-l-methionine molecule.
Fibrillarin is the key methyltransferase associated with the C/D class of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and participates in the preliminary step of pre-ribosomal rRNA processing. This molecule is found in the fibrillar regions of the eukaryotic nucleolus and is involved in methylation of the 2′-O atom of ribose in rRNA. Human fibrillarin contains an N-terminal GAR domain, a central RNA-binding domain comprising an RNP-2-like superfamily consensus sequence and a catalytic C-terminal helical domain. Here, Aeropyrum pernix fibrillarin is described, which is homologous to the C-terminal domain of human fibrillarin. The protein was crystallized with an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) ligand bound in the active site. The molecular structure of this complex was solved using X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.7 Å using molecular replacement with fibrillarin structural homologs. The structure shows the atomic details of SAM and its active-site interactions; there are a number of conserved residues that interact directly with the cofactor. Notably, the adenine ring of SAM is stabilized by π–π interactions with the conserved residue Phe110 and by electrostatic interactions with the Asp134, Ala135 and Gln157 residues. The π–π interaction appears to play a critical role in stabilizing the association of SAM with fibrillarin. Furthermore, comparison of A. pernix fibrillarin with homologous structures revealed different orientations of Phe110 and changes in α-helix 6 of fibrillarin and suggests key differences in its interactions with the adenine ring of SAM in the active site and with the C/D RNA. These differences may play a key role in orienting the SAM ligand for catalysis as well as in the assembly of other ribonucleoproteins and in the interactions with C/D RNA.
fibrillarin; S-adenosyl-l-methionine; methyltransferases; Aeropyrum pernix
vSET (a viral SET domain protein) is an attractive Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) surrogate to study the effect of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) methylation on gene transcription as both catalyze histone H3K27 tri-methylation. In order to control the enzymatic activity of vSET in vivo with an engineered S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) analogue as methyl donor cofactor, we have carried out structure-guided design, synthesis and characterization of orthogonal vSET methyltransferase mutant/SAM analogue pairs using a “bump-and-hole” strategy.
RNA methyltransferases (MTases) are important players in the biogenesis and regulation of the ribosome, the cellular machine for protein synthesis. RsmC is a MTase that catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) to G1207 of 16S rRNA. Mutations of G1207 have dominant lethal phenotypes in Escherichia coli, underscoring the significance of this modified nucleotide for ribosome function. Here we report the crystal structure of E. coli RsmC refined to 2.1 Å resolution, which reveals two homologous domains tandemly duplicated within a single polypeptide. We characterized the function of the individual domains and identified key residues involved in binding of rRNA and SAM, and in catalysis. We also discovered that one of the domains is important for the folding of the other. Domain duplication and subfunctionalization by complementary degeneration of redundant functions (in particular substrate binding versus catalysis) has been reported for many enzymes, including those involved in RNA metabolism. Thus, RsmC can be regarded as a model system for functional streamlining of domains accompanied by the development of dependencies concerning folding and stability.
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.