Methylation of Proteins: Biochemistry and Functional Consequences
Methylation is one of the most abundant modifications that the proteome of living cells undergo. Catalyzed by enzymes of the methyltransferase family, it occurs in many biological processes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The most common methylations occur on the amino groups of lysine and arginine side chains providing them with hydrophobic and steric properties that affect the way they behave and recognize other proteins and nucleic acids. Methylation of proteins occurs at a posttranslational level, and its main function is the effective control of the gene expression by histones and transcription factors. Other functions are protein labeling for cellular localization, RNA processing, ribosome assembly, or cell signaling. Methylations also occur at the N- and C-termini of proteins or on carboxyl and thiol groups of histidine, cysteine, proline, or glutamate side chains.
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