Brain proteomics supports the role of glutamate metabolism and suggests other metabolic alterations in protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT)-knockout mice

J Proteome Res. 2013 Oct 4;12(10):4566-76. doi: 10.1021/pr400688r. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs the isoaspartyl residues (isoAsp) that originate from asparagine deamidation and aspartic acid (Asp) isomerization to Asp residues. Deletion of the gene encoding PIMT in mice (Pcmt1) leads to isoAsp accumulation in all tissues measured, especially in the brain. These PIMT-knockout (PIMT-KO) mice have perturbed glutamate metabolism and die prematurely of epileptic seizures. To elucidate the role of PIMT further, brain proteomes of PIMT-KO mice and controls were analyzed. The isoAsp levels from two of the detected 67 isoAsp sites (residue 98 from calmodulin and 68 from glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) were quantified and found to be significantly increased in PIMT-KO mice (p < 0.01). Additionally, the abundance of at least 151 out of the 1017 quantified proteins was found to be altered in PIMT-KO mouse brains. Gene ontology analysis revealed that many down-regulated proteins are involved in cellular amino acid biosynthesis. For example, the serine synthesis pathway was suppressed, possibly leading to reduced serine production in PIMT-KO mice. Additionally, the abundances of enzymes in the glutamate-glutamine cycle were altered toward the accumulation of glutamate. These findings support the involvement of PIMT in glutamate metabolism and suggest that the absence of PIMT also affects other processes involving amino acid synthesis and metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Protein D-Aspartate-L-Isoaspartate Methyltransferase / deficiency
  • Protein D-Aspartate-L-Isoaspartate Methyltransferase / genetics*
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics


  • Proteome
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Protein D-Aspartate-L-Isoaspartate Methyltransferase