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Molecular Mechanism underlying PRMT1 Dimerization for SAM Binding and Methylase Activity

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posted on 28.12.2015, 00:00 authored by Ran Zhou, Yiqian Xie, Hao Hu, Guang Hu, Viral Sanjay Patel, Jin Zhang, Kunqian Yu, Yiran Huang, Hualiang Jiang, Zhongjie Liang, Yujun George Zheng, Cheng Luo
Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) catalyze the posttranslational methylation of arginine, which is important in a range of biological processes, including epigenetic regulation, signal transduction, and cancer progression. Although previous studies of PRMT1 mutants suggest that the dimerization arm and the N-terminal region of PRMT1 are important for activity, the contributions of these regions to the structural architecture of the protein and its catalytic methylation activity remain elusive. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations performed in this study showed that both the dimerization arm and the N-terminal region undergo conformational changes upon dimerization. Because a correlation was found between the two regions despite their physical distance, an allosteric pathway mechanism was proposed based on a network topological analysis. The mutation of residues along the allosteric pathways markedly reduced the methylation activity of PRMT1, which may be attributable to the destruction of dimer formation and accordingly reduced S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) binding. This study provides the first demonstration of the use of a combination of MD simulations, network topological analysis, and biochemical assays for the exploration of allosteric regulation upon PRMT1 dimerization. These findings illuminate the results of mechanistic studies of PRMT1, which have revealed that dimer formation facilitates SAM binding and catalytic methylation, and provided direction for further allosteric studies of the PRMT family.