Indexed on: 06 Mar '10Published on: 06 Mar '10Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry
The isoprenylcysteine carboxyl methyltransferase (Icmt) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also designated Ste14p, is a 26-kDa integral membrane protein that contains six transmembrane spanning segments. This protein is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane where it performs the methylation step of the CAAX post-translational processing pathway. Sequence analysis reveals a putative GXXXG dimerization motif located in transmembrane 1 of Ste14p, but it is not known whether Ste14p forms or functions as a dimer or higher order oligomer. We determined that Ste14p predominantly formed a homodimer in the presence of the cross-linking agent, bis-sulfosuccinimidyl suberate. Wild-type untagged Ste14p also co-immunoprecipitated and co-purified with N-terminal-tagged His(10)-myc(3)-Ste14p (His-Ste14p). Furthermore, enzymatically inactive His-Ste14p variants L81F and E213Q both exerted a dominant-negative effect on methyltransferase activity when co-expressed and co-purified with untagged wild-type Ste14p. Together, these data, although indirect, suggest that Ste14p forms and functions as a homodimer or perhaps a higher oligomeric species.