Type I protein arginine N-methyltransferases catalyze the formation of omega-NG-monomethylarginine and asymmetric omega-NG, NG-dimethylarginine residues using S-adenosyl-l-methionine as the methyl donor. In vitro these enzymes can modify a number of soluble methyl-accepting substrates in yeast and mammalian cell extracts including several species that interact with RNA. We treated normal and hypomethylated Saccharomyces cerevisiae and RAT1 cell extracts with RNase prior to in vitro methylation by recombinant protein N-arginine methyltransferases and found that the methylation of certain polypeptides is enhanced up to 12-fold whereas that of others is diminished. 2-D gel electrophoresis of RNase-treated yeast extracts allowed us to tentatively identify the glycine- and arginine-rich (GAR) domain-containing proteins Gar1, Nop1, Sbp1, and Npl3 as major methyl-acceptors based on their known isoelectric points and apparent molecular weights. These results suggest that the methylation and RNA-binding of GAR domain-containing proteins in vivo may regulate protein-nucleic acid or protein-protein interactions.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.