Posttranslational modifications constitute a major field of emerging biological significance as mounting evidence demonstrates their key role in multiple physiological processes. Following in the footsteps of protein phosphorylation studies, new modifications are being shown to regulate protein properties and functions in vivo. Among such modifications, an important role belongs to protein arginylation - posttranslational tRNA-mediated addition of arginine, to proteins by arginyltransferase, ATE1. Recent studies show that arginylation is essential for embryogenesis in many organisms and that it regulates such important processes as heart development, angiogenesis, and tissue morphogenesis in mammals. This review summarizes the key data in the protein arginylation field since its original discovery to date.
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