Histone H2A and H4 N-Terminal Tails are Positioned by the MEP50 WD-Repeat Protein for Efficient Methylation by the PRMT5 Arginine Methyltransferase [DNA and Chromosomes]

February 24th, 2015 by Burgos, E. S., Wilczek, C., Onikubo, T., Bonanno, J. B., Jansong, J., Reimer, U., Shechter, D.

The protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 is complexed with the WD-repeat protein MEP50 (also known as Wdr77 or androgen coactivator p44) in vertebrates in a tetramer of heterodimers. MEP50 is hypothesized to be required for protein substrate recruitment to the catalytic domain of PRMT5. Here we demonstrate that the cross-dimer MEP50 is paired with its cognate PRMT5 molecule to promote histone methylation. We employed qualitative methylation assays and a novel ultrasensitive continuous assay to measure enzyme kinetics. We demonstrate that neither full-length human PRMT5 nor the Xenopus laevis PRMT5 catalytic domain have appreciable protein methyltransferase activity. We show that histones H4 and H3 bind PRMT5-MEP50 more efficiently compared to histone H2A(1-20) and H4(1-20) peptides. Histone binding is mediated through histone fold interactions as determined by competition experiments and by high density histone peptide array interaction studies. Nucleosomes are not a substrate for PRMT5-MEP50, consistent with the primary mode of interaction via the histone fold of H3/H4, obscured by DNA in the nucleosome. Mutation of a conserved arginine (R42) on the MEP50 insertion loop impaired the PRMT5-MEP50 enzymatic efficiency by increasing its histone substrate Km, comparable to that of Caenorhabditis elegans PRMT5. We show that PRMT5-MEP50 prefers unmethylated substrates, consistent with a distributive model for dimethylation and suggesting discrete biological roles for mono- and dimethylarginine modified proteins. We propose a model in which MEP50 and PRMT5 simultaneously engage the protein substrate, orienting its targeted arginine to the catalytic site.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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