Naturally occurring cancer-associated mutations disrupt oligomerization and activity of protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1)

Owen M. Price, Abhishek Thakur, Ariana Ortolano, Arianna Towne, Caroline Velez, Orlando Acevedo, Joan M. Hevel

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Protein arginine methylation is a posttranslational modification catalyzed by the protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) enzyme family. Dysregulated protein arginine methylation is linked to cancer and a variety of other human diseases. PRMT1 is the predominant PRMT isoform in mammalian cells and acts in pathways regulating transcription, DNA repair, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. PRMT1 dimer formation, which is required for methyltransferase activity, is mediated by interactions between a structure called the dimerization arm on one monomer and a surface of the Rossman Fold of the other monomer. Given the link between PRMT1 dysregulation and disease and the link between PRMT1 dimerization and activity, we searched the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database to identify potential inactivating mutations occurring in the PRMT1 dimerization arm. We identified three mutations that correspond to W215L, Y220N, and M224V substitutions in human PRMT1V2 (isoform 1) (W197L, Y202N, M206V in rat PRMT1V1). Using a combination of site-directed mutagenesis, analytical ultracentrifugation, native PAGE, and activity assays, we found that these conservative substitutions surprisingly disrupt oligomer formation and substantially impair both Sadenosyl- L-methionine (AdoMet) binding and methyltransferase activity. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that these substitutions introduce novel interactions within the dimerization arm that lock it in a conformation not conducive to dimer formation. These findings provide a clear, if putative, rationale for the contribution of these mutations to impaired arginine methylation in cells and corresponding health consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101336
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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