Automethylation of protein arginine methyltransferase 8 (PRMT8) regulates activity by impeding S-adenosylmethionine sensitivity.

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Catalysis; HeLa Cells; Humans; Lysine; Membrane Proteins; Methylation; Mutagenesis, Site-Directed; Mutation; Phenylalanine; Protein Binding; *Protein Processing, Post-Translational; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases; S-Adenosylmethionine


Biochemistry | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Therapeutics


Protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) 8 is unique among the PRMTs, as it has a highly restricted tissue expression pattern and an N terminus that contains two automethylation sites and a myristoylation site. PRMTs catalyze the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) to a peptidylarginine on a protein substrate. Currently, the physiological roles, regulation, and cellular substrates of PRMT8 are poorly understood. However, a thorough understanding of PRMT8 kinetics should provide insights into each of these areas, thereby enhancing our understanding of this unique enzyme. In this study, we determined how automethylation regulates the enzymatic activity of PRMT8. We found that preventing automethylation with lysine mutations (preserving the positive charge of the residue) increased the turnover rate and decreased the Km of AdoMet but did not affect the Km of the protein substrate. In contrast, mimicking automethylation with phenylalanine (i.e. mimicking the increased hydrophobicity) decreased the turnover rate. The inhibitory effect of the PRMT8 N terminus could be transferred to PRMT1 by creating a chimeric protein containing the N terminus of PRMT8 fused to PRMT1. Thus, automethylation of the N terminus likely regulates PRMT8 activity by decreasing the affinity of the enzyme for AdoMet.

DOI of Published Version



J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 27;288(39):27872-80. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.491092. Epub 2013 Aug 14. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry


At the time of publication, Paul Thompson was not yet affiliated with UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed