A pinboard by
Nitin Kamble

Ph.D Student , National Institute Of Plant Genome Research



Proteins and peptides are significant macromolecules carrying out essential functions and are susceptible to various spontaneous covalent modifications particularly due to aging and stress conditions. These modifications include spontaneous alteration of L-aspartyl or asparaginyl residues to abnormal isoaspartyl (isoAsp) residues in proteins. Occurrence of isoaspartate in proteins can interrupt their function leading to the disruption of homeostasis. A ubiquitously distributed highly conserved protein repair enzyme, Protein L-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT, EC recognizes isoaspartyl residues in proteins or peptides and catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) to the free -carboxyl group of abnormal L-isoaspartyl residues. Through the subsequent spontaneous reactions that follow, isoAsp are eventually converted back to normal L-aspartyl residues. The biological role of the PIMT enzyme in maintaining longevity and survivability of organisms particularly under stress conditions has been established in lower organisms and animal systems using various PIMT deficient and overexpression mutants. These studies clearly revealed that PIMT permits only a low level of deleterious isoAsp in proteins and combats the effect of aging and stresses, particularly in cells with low metabolic activity in animals. PIMT activity has been reported in all major divisions of the plant kingdom including monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous angiosperms. In contrast to lower organisms and animal systems, plants possess two PIMT genes (PIMT1 and PIMT2) which are differentially expressed, regulated and exhibit differential subcellular localization in plants. In general, PIMT activity is highly concentrated in seeds and was shown to play essential role in maintaining seed vigor and longevity in plant species. However, little is known about the regulation and contribution PIMT during the course of seed development particularly during the seed desiccation permitting longevity in the dehydrated state. Seeds are sensitive to aging and deteriorate upon storage, particularly in humid and tropical climatic conditions. Therefore, improving seed longevity and storability will have a huge impact on the agricultural economy. Hence, we are exploring the role and regulation of PIMTs in plants along with the possibility of PIMT-mediated improvement in seed vigor and longevity during dehydrated storage of seeds.


Cloning, expression, and purification of rat brain protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) methylates isoaspartyl residues in peptides and proteins using S-adenosyl-L-methionine as the methyl donor. A cloned source of this enzyme should be useful in the identification of cellular substrates and for quantitation and localization of isoaspartyl sites in purified proteins, including recombinant proteins used as pharmaceuticals. Rat brain PIMT cDNA was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction. The reaction product was directionally cloned into the expression vector p delta blue (M. E. Brandt and L. E. Vickery, Arch. Biochem. 294, 735-740, 1992). The vector contains the strong promoter lambda pL and allows for the direct expression of cloned genes. After transformation, Escherichia coli cells containing the plasmid constitutively produced recombinant rat brain PIMT (rrPIMT) at levels between 2 and 3% of total soluble protein. Recombinant enzyme was purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate precipitation of the crude extract followed by anion-exchange chromatography. The specific activity was 14,000 pmol methyl groups transferred/min/mg protein at 30 degrees C using bovine gamma-globulin as the methyl acceptor. A typical yield was 12 mg of purified rrPIMT per liter of bacterial culture. Subsequent dye ligand chromatography increased the specific activity of the preparation to 16,800 pmol methyl groups transferred/min/mg protein with an overall yield of 5 mg per liter of bacterial culture. Using isoaspartyl delta sleep-inducing peptide as the methyl acceptor, rrPIMT exhibited normal Michaelis-Menten kinetics that yielded the following constants: Km (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) = 1.1 microM, Km (peptide) = 16 microM, Vmax = 60,000 pmol/min/mg.

Pub.: 01 Jun '95, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Adenoviral expression of protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) partially attenuates the biochemical changes in PIMT-deficient mice.

Abstract: Protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is a putative protein repair enzyme, which methylates the alpha-carboxyl group of atypical L-isoaspartyl residues in aged proteins and converts them to normal L-aspartyl residues. Two splicing variants, PIMT-I and PIMT-II, have been reported, although their biological functions and specific subcellular substrates are still to be defined. We and another group have previously showed that PIMT-deficient mice succumbed to fatal epileptic seizures associated with an abnormal accumulation of isoaspartate (IsoAsp) in the brain. In the present study, we prepared two recombinant adenovirus vectors that contained PIMT-I or PIMT-II, respectively, in order to investigate the differential biological roles of PIMT-I and PIMT-II. These recombinant viruses differentially conferred PIMT-I or PIMT-II expressions in cultured neurons. Biochemical analyses showed that either of PIMT-I or PIMT-II effectively repaired the damaged proteins in PIMT-deficient neurons, but the concomitant expression failed to show an additive effect in the repair of IsoAsp. These results suggested that PIMT-I and PIMT-II might share a common biological function and/or subcellular substrates. In addition, we administered an adeno-PIMT-I vector into the brain of PIMT-deficient mice at embryonic day 14.5 by an exo-utero method to assess the biological effects in vivo. The result showed that recombinant adeno-PIMT improved the symptoms of PIMT-deficient mice in vivo, but only partially repaired IsoAsp in damaged proteins. The gene therapy presented in this report provided a better prognosis for the survival of PIMT-deficient mice than the previously reported anti-epileptic drug therapy. The results suggested a new reagent for gene therapy applicable to ageing-associated neurodegenerative disorders.

Pub.: 19 Jul '02, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Transgenic expression of the protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) gene in the brain rescues mice from the fatal epilepsy of PIMT deficiency.

Abstract: Protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransfearase (PIMT) plays a physiological role in the repair of damaged proteins containing isoaspartyl residues. In previous studies, we showed that PIMT-deficient mice developed a fatal epileptic seizure associated with the accumulation of damaged proteins in the brain. The mutant mice also showed a neurodegenerative pathology in hippocampi and impaired spatial memory. Still undefined, however, is how the accumulation of isoaspartates leads to the death of PIMT-deficient mice. In the present study, we generated PIMT transgenic (Tg) mice to investigate whether the exogenous expression of PIMT could improve the symptoms associated with PIMT deficiency. Rescue experiments showed that Tg expression of PIMT driven by a prion promoter effectively cured the PIMT-deficient mice. Biochemically, a higher expression level of transgene led to the effective repair of damaged proteins in vivo. Although a lower level of expression caused an accumulation of damaged proteins in a partially rescued line, the mice survived. Interestingly, synapsin I, which was extensively modified posttranslationally in PIMT-deficient mice, was specifically repaired in a partially rescued, but symptom-improved, Tg line. Our results suggest that an overall accumulation of damaged proteins does not necessarily lead to a fatal epileptic seizure, whereas certain modifications, such as changes in synapsin I, may play a pivotal pathological role in epilepsy.

Pub.: 19 Jul '02, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Interaction of PIMT with transcriptional coactivators CBP, p300, and PBP differential role in transcriptional regulation.

Abstract: PIMT (PRIP-interacting protein with methyltransferase domain), an RNA-binding protein with a methyltransferase domain capable of binding S-adenosylmethionine, has been shown previously to interact with nuclear receptor coactivator PRIP (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-interacting protein) and enhance its coactivator function. We now report that PIMT strongly interacts with transcriptional coactivators, CBP, p300, and PBP but not with SRC-1 and PGC-1alpha under in vitro and in vivo conditions. The PIMT binding sites on CBP and p300 are located in the cysteine-histidine-rich C/H1 and C/H3 domains, and the PIMT binding site on PBP is in the region encompassing amino acids 1101-1560. The N-terminal of PIMT (residues 1-369) containing the RNA binding domain interacts with both C/H1 and C/H3 domains of CBP and p300 and with the C-terminal portion of PBP that encompasses amino acids 1371-1560. The C-terminal of PIMT (residues 611-852), which binds S-adenosyl-l-methionine, interacts respectively with the C/H3 domain of CBP/p300 and with a region encompassing amino acids 1101-1370 of PBP. Immunoprecipitation data showed that PIMT forms a complex in vivo with CBP, p300, PBP, and PRIP. PIMT appeared to be co-localized in the nucleus with CBP, p300, and PBP. PIMT enhanced PBP-mediated transcriptional activity of the PPARgamma, as it did for PRIP, indicating synergism between PIMT and PBP. In contrast, PIMT functioned as a repressor of CBP/p300-mediated transactivation of PPARgamma. Based on these observations, we suggest that PIMT bridges the CBP/p300-anchored coactivator complex with the PBP-anchored coactivator complex but differentially modulates coactivator function such that inhibition of the CBP/p300 effect may be designed to enhance the activity of PBP and PRIP.

Pub.: 26 Mar '02, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Cloning and characterization of PIMT, a protein with a methyltransferase domain, which interacts with and enhances nuclear receptor coactivator PRIP function.

Abstract: The nuclear receptor coactivators participate in the transcriptional activation of specific genes by nuclear receptors. In this study, we report the isolation of a nuclear receptor coactivator-interacting protein from a human liver cDNA library by using the coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-interacting protein (PRIP) (ASC2/AIB3/RAP250/NRC/TRBP) as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen. Human PRIP-interacting protein cDNA has an ORF of 2,556 nucleotides, encodes a protein with 852 amino acids, and contains a 9-aa VVDAFCGVG methyltransferase motif I and an invariant GXXGXXI segment found in K-homology motifs of many RNA-binding proteins. The gene encoding this protein, designated PRIP-interacting protein with methyltransferase domain (PIMT), is localized on chromosome 8q11 and spans more than 40 kb. PIMT mRNA is ubiquitously expressed, with a high level of expression in heart, skeletal muscle, kidney, liver, and placenta. Using the immunofluorescence localization method, we found that PIMT and PRIP proteins appear colocalized in the nucleus. PIMT strongly interacts with PRIP under in vitro and in vivo conditions, and the PIMT-binding site on PRIP is in the region encompassing amino acids 773-927. PIMT binds S-adenosyl-l-methionine, the methyl donor for methyltransfer reaction, and it also binds RNA, suggesting that it is a putative RNA methyltransferase. PIMT enhances the transcriptional activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and retinoid-X-receptor alpha, which is further stimulated by coexpression of PRIP, implying that PIMT is a component of nuclear receptor signal transduction apparatus acting through PRIP. Definitive identification of the specific substrate of PIMT and the role of this RNA-binding protein in transcriptional regulation remain to be determined.

Pub.: 23 Aug '01, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Structural integrity of histone H2B in vivo requires the activity of protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase, a putative protein repair enzyme.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is postulated to repair beta-aspartyl linkages (isoaspartyl (isoAsp)) that accumulate at certain Asp-Xaa and Asn-Xaa sites in association with protein aging and deamidation. To identify major targets of PIMT action we cultured rat PC12 cells with adenosine dialdehyde (AdOx), a methyltransferase inhibitor that promotes accumulation of isoAsp in vivo. Subcellular fractionation of AdOx-treated cells revealed marked accumulation of isoAsp in a 14-kDa nuclear protein. Gel electrophoresis and chromatography of nuclei (3)H-methylated in vitro by PIMT revealed this protein to be histone H2B. The isoAsp content of H2B in AdOx-treated cells was approximately 18 times that in control cells, although no isoAsp was seen in other core histones, regardless of treatment. To confirm the relevance and specificity of this effect, we measured isoAsp levels in histones from brains of PIMT knockout mice. IsoAsp was found at near stoichiometric levels in H2B extracted from knockout brains and was at least 80 times greater than that in H2B from normal mice. Little or no isoAsp was detected in H2A, H3, or H4 from mice of either genotype. Accumulation of isoAsp in histone H2B may disrupt normal gene regulation and contribute to the reduced life span that characterizes PIMT knockouts. In addition to disrupting protein function, isoAsp has been shown to trigger immunity against self-proteins. The propensity of H2B to generate isoAsp in vivo may help explain why this histone in particular is found as a major antigen in autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus.

Pub.: 02 Aug '01, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Isoaspartate formation and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

Abstract: We reviewed here that protein isomerization is enhanced in amyloid-beta peptides (Abeta) and paired helical filaments (PHFs) purified from Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains. Biochemical analyses revealed that Abeta purified from senile plaques and vascular amyloid are isomerized at Asp-1 and Asp-7. A specific antibody recognizing isoAsp-23 of Abeta further suggested the isomerization of Abeta at Asp-23 in vascular amyloid as well as in the core of senile plaques. Biochemical analyses of purified PHFs also revealed that heterogeneous molecular weight tau contains L-isoaspartate at Asp-193, Asn-381, and Asp-387, indicating a modification, other than phosphorylation, that differentiates between normal tau and PHF tau. Since protein isomerization as L-isoaspartate causes structural changes and functional inactivation, or enhances the aggregation process, this modification is proposed as one of the progression factors in AD. Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is suggested to play a role in the repair of isomerized proteins containing L-isoaspartate. We show here that PIMT is upregulated in neurodegenerative neurons and colocalizes in neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in AD. Taken together with the enhanced protein isomerization in AD brains, it is implicated that the upregulated PIMT may associate with increased protein isomerization in AD. We also reviewed studies on PIMT-deficient mice that confirmed that PIMT plays a physiological role in the repair of isomerized proteins containing L-isoaspartate. The knockout study also suggested that the brain of PIMT-deficient mice manifested neurodegenerative changes concomitant with accumulation of L-isoaspartate. We discuss the pathological implications of protein isomerization in the neurodegeneration found in model mice and AD.

Pub.: 14 Oct '00, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Translation of a unique transcript for protein isoaspartyl methyltransferase in haploid spermatids: implications for protein storage and repair.

Abstract: The mammalian testis contains high levels of a protein, L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase (PIMT), postulated to play a role in the repair of age-damaged proteins. To examine the regulation of PIMT concentrations during the development of spermatozoa, poly(A)+ RNA was isolated from purified populations of pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids. Northern blot analysis revealed that a unique 1.1-1.3 kb PIMT transcript is present in preparations of round spermatid and pachytene spermatocyte poly (A)+ RNA. The concentration of this small PIMT transcript is at least four times higher in mRNA isolated from round spermatids than in mRNA isolated from pachytene spermatocytes, indicating that the PIMT gene is actively transcribed during the haploid phase of spermatogenesis. The germ cell-specific PIMT transcripts are distributed between the polysomal fraction and the nonpolysomal fractions of testis RNA, suggesting that translational controls also contribute to the high concentrations of PIMT in mammalian sperm. PIMT function is not essential for spermatogenesis because the testes from transgenic mice lacking PIMT activity have normal levels of protamine transcripts, and because functional sperm can be recovered from the cauda epididymis. The protein repair function of the PIMT may be more important in maintaining the fertilization competence of translationally-inactive mature sperm during the prolonged period of epididymal transit and storage in the male reproductive tract.

Pub.: 17 May '00, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Human erythrocyte protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase: heritability of basal activity and genetic polymorphism for thermal stability.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is believed to play an important role in the disposition of age-damaged proteins by catalyzing the repair of abnormal isoaspartyl linkages resulting from the spontaneous deamidation of asparaginyl residues or isomerization of aspartyl residues. As a step toward testing the hypothesis that human disease- or age-related pathology might be associated with a deficiency in PIMT, we investigated basal activity and thermal stability of PIMT in erythrocyte lysates from 299 U.S. family members. Thermal stability was measured because it is a sensitive measure of variation in amino acid sequence. Basal activity was normally distributed with a mean+/-SD of 558+/-43 units/ml erythrocytes. Statistical analysis of the data revealed that basal PIMT activity exhibited a high degree of heritability. Enzyme thermal stability showed a skewed bimodal frequency distribution, and segregation analysis of family member pedigrees was consistent with Mendelian inheritance of two major alleles. No DNA was available from the family samples, so we tested two additional population samples for a known Ile/Val polymorphism at codon 119 and for PIMT activity and thermal stability, using blood donated by 25 Norwegians and by 20 Koreans. Single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis using polymerase chain reaction revealed a 100% correlation between thermal stability grouping and this polymorphism. The high thermal stability samples were all homozygous Ile, the low thermal stability samples were all homozygous Val, and the intermediate thermal stability samples were all heterozygous. Furthermore, this polymorphism was responsible, in part, for the variation observed in basal erythrocyte PIMT activity. These results will help provide a foundation for future studies aimed at correlating levels of PIMT activity, or other properties of this enzyme, with human disease.

Pub.: 29 Oct '97, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

High-performance liquid chromatographic method to measure protein L-isoaspartyl/D-aspartyl o-methyltransferase activity in cell lysates.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl/D-aspartyl o-methyltransferase (PIMT) is a widely expressed protein repair enzyme that restores isomerized aspartyl residues to their normal configuration. Current methods for measuring PIMT activity have limited sensitivity or require radioactivity. We have developed a highly sensitive new assay method to measure PIMT activity in cell lysates. As a substrate, we used a fluorescently labeled delta sleep-inducing peptide (DSIP) that contains an isoaspartyl residue: 7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole (NBD)-DSIP(isoAsp). The PIMT-catalyzed transfer of a methyl group onto this substrate can be detected with a simple high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) procedure. After the enzyme reaction, the methylated form of the peptide is stable and can be reproducibly separated from the unmethylated form in an acidic solvent and fluorometrically detected by HPLC. The limit of detection was estimated to be approximately 1 pmol of NBD-DSIP(isoAsp) (signal/noise ratio [S/N]=3), and the quantitation limit of the activity was approximately 18 microg of total cell lysate from HEK293 cells (10.7 pmol/min/mg protein). This assay method is sensitive enough to detect PIMT activity in biological samples without the use of radioisotopes, offering significant advantages over previously reported methods.

Pub.: 28 Oct '08, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Up-regulation of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase expression by lithium is mediated by glycogen synthase kinase-3 inactivation and beta-catenin stabilization.

Abstract: During cell aging, proteins accumulate damages, which affect their structure and activity. The protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is involved in the repair of proteins containing abnormal L-isoaspartyl residues. Although its mechanism of action is well defined, little is known about the pathways involved in the regulation of PIMT expression. In this study, we demonstrated that glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) and beta-catenin are involved in the regulation of PIMT expression. Treatment of astrocytoma cells (U-87) with direct pharmacological GSK-3 inhibitors such as lithium, SB-216763 and SB-415286 stimulated PIMT expression ( approximately twofold). As expected, GSK-3 inhibition led to an increase of phosphorylated GSK-3beta (Ser9) and to beta-catenin accumulation. PIMT induction by lithium was dependent on increased protein synthesis. In addition, RT-PCR analysis showed higher level of PIMT mRNA following GSK-3 inhibition, which was abolished by the transcriptional inhibitor actinomycin D. These results demonstrated regulation of PIMT expression by lithium at both the transcriptional and the translational levels. Additionally, inhibition by siRNA of GSK-3 and beta-catenin modulated the expression of the PIMT in accordance with GSK-3 pharmacological inhibition. Valproic acid, an antiepileptic drug with mood-stabilizing properties, up-regulated phospho-GSK-3beta (Ser9), beta-catenin and PIMT levels similarly to lithium. This study reports that PIMT expression is up-regulated by GSK-3 inhibition and beta-catenin stabilization upon treatments with lithium and valproic acid. These findings suggest a possible therapeutic role for PIMT in certain brain diseases including epilepsy.

Pub.: 28 Jun '08, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Accumulation of proteins bearing atypical isoaspartyl residues in livers of alcohol-fed rats is prevented by betaine administration: effects on protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity.

Abstract: Protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is a methyltransferase that plays a crucial role in the repair of damaged proteins. In this study, we investigated whether ethanol exposure causes an accumulation of modified proteins bearing atypical isoaspartyl residues that may be related to impaired PIMT activity. We further sought to determine whether betaine administration could prevent the accumulation of these types of damaged proteins.Livers of male Wistar rats, fed the Lieber DeCarli control, ethanol or 1% betaine-supplemented diets for 4 weeks, were processed for PIMT-related analyses.We observed a significant increase in the accumulation of modified proteins bearing isoaspartyl residues, i.e. the substrates for PIMT, in homogenate samples and various subcellular fractions of livers from ethanol-fed rats. Betaine supplementation prevented this accumulation of damaged proteins. In contrast, ethanol exposure induced no changes in the PIMT enzyme activity levels as compared to controls. The accumulation of damaged proteins negatively correlated with hepatic S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) ratios.Ethanol consumption results in the accumulation of modified proteins bearing atypical isoaspartyl residues via impaired in vivo PIMT activity. Betaine administration prevents the ethanol-induced accumulation of isoaspartyl-containing proteins by restoring the PIMT-catalyzed protein repair reaction through normalizing the hepatocellular SAM:SAH ratios.

Pub.: 06 Mar '07, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Post-translational protein modifications in type 1 diabetes: a role for the repair enzyme protein-L-isoaspartate (D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase?

Abstract: Post-translational modifications, such as isomerisation of native proteins, may create new antigenic epitopes and play a role in the development of the autoimmune response. Protein-L-isoaspartate (D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase (PIMT), encoded by the gene PCMT1, is an enzyme that recognises and repairs isomerised Asn and Asp residues in proteins. The aim of this study was to assess the role of PIMT in the development of type 1 diabetes.Immunohistochemical analysis of 59 normal human tissues was performed with a monoclonal PIMT antibody. CGP3466B, which induces expression of Pcmt1, was tested on MIN6 and INS1 cells, to assess its effect on Pcmt1 mRNA and PIMT levels (RT-PCR and western blot) and apoptosis. Forty-five diabetes-prone BioBreeding (BB) Ottawa Karlsburg (OK) rats were randomised to receive 0, 14 or 500 microg/kg (denoted as the control, low-dose and high-dose group, respectively) of CGP3466B from week 5 to week 20.A high level of PIMT protein was detected in beta cells. CGP3466B induced a two- to threefold increase in Pcmt1 mRNA levels and reduced apoptosis by 10% in MIN6 cells. No significant effect was seen on cytokine-induced apoptosis or PIMT protein levels in INS1 cells. The onset of diabetes in the BB/OK rats was significantly delayed (85.6+/-9.0 vs 84.3+/-6.8 vs 106.6+/-13.5 days, respectively; p<0.01 for high-dose vs low-dose and control groups), the severity of the disease was reduced (glucose 22.2+/-3.2 vs 16.9+/-2.6 vs 15.8+/-2.7 mmol; p<0.01 for high- and low-dose groups vs control group) and residual beta cells were more frequently identified (43% vs 71% vs 86%; p<0.05 for high-dose vs control group) in the treated animals.The results support a role for post-translational modifications and PIMT in the development of type 1 diabetes in the diabetes-prone BB rat, and perhaps also in humans.

Pub.: 12 Jan '07, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Regulation of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase by cell-matrix interactions: involvement of integrin alphavbeta3, PI 3-kinase, and the proteasome.

Abstract: The enzyme L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is known to repair damaged proteins that have accumulated abnormal aspartyl residues during cell aging. However, little is known about the mechanisms involved in the regulation of PIMT expression. Here we report that PIMT expression in bovine aortic endothelial cells is regulated by cell detachment and readhesion to a substratum. During cell detachment, the PIMT level was rapidly and strongly increased and correlated with a stimulation of protein synthesis. Aside from endothelial cells, PIMT levels were also regulated by cell adhesion in various cancer cell lines. The upregulation of PIMT expression could be prevented by an anti-alphavbeta3 antibody (LM609) or by a cyclic RGD peptide (XJ735) specific to integrin alphavbeta3, indicating that this integrin was likely involved in PIMT regulation. Moreover, we found that PIMT expression returned to the basal level when cells were replated on a substratum after detachment, though downregulation of PIMT expression could be partly prevented by the PI3K inhibitors LY294002 and wortmannin, as well as by the proteasome inhibitors MG-132, lactacystin, and beta-lactone. These findings support the assumption that the PIMT level was downregulated by proteasomal degradation, involving the PI3K pathway, during cell attachment. This study reports new insights on the molecular mechanisms responsible for the regulation of PIMT expression in cells. The regulation of PIMT level upon cell-substratum contact suggests a potential role for PIMT in biological processes such as wound healing, cell migration, and tumor metastasis dissemination.

Pub.: 15 Dec '06, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Arabidopsis Protein Repair L-Isoaspartyl Methyltransferases: Predominant Activities at Lethal Temperatures.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferases (EC; PIMT or PCMT) are enzymes that initiate the full or partial repair of damaged L-aspartyl and L-asparaginyl residues, respectively. These enzymes are found in most organisms and maintain a high degree of sequence conservation. Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis L. Heynh.) is unique among eukaryotes in that it contains two genes, rather than one, that encode PIMT isozymes. We describe a novel Arabidopsis PIMT isozyme, designated AtPIMT2αω, encoded by the PIMT2 gene (At5g50240). We characterized the enzymatic activity of the recombinant AtPIMT2αω in comparison to the other AtPIMT2 isozymes, AtPIMT1, and to the human PCMT ortholog, to better understand its role in Arabidopsis. All Arabidopsis PIMT isozymes are active over a relatively wide pH range. For AtPIMT2αω maximal activity is observed at 50 °C (a lethal temperature for Arabidopsis); this activity is almost ten times greater than the activity at the growth temperature of 25 °C. Interestingly, enzyme activity decreases after pre-incubation at temperatures above 30°C. A similar situation is found for the recombinant AtPIMT2ψ and the AtPIMT2ω isozymes, as well as for the AtPIMT1 and human PCMT1 enzymes. These results suggest that the short-term ability of these methyltransferases to initiate repair under extreme temperature conditions may be a common feature of both the plant and animal species.

Pub.: 01 Dec '06, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Protein repair in the brain, proteomic analysis of endogenous substrates for protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase in mouse brain.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) catalyzes repair of L-isoaspartyl peptide bonds, a major source of protein damage under physiological conditions. PIMT knock-out (KO) mice exhibit brain enlargement and fatal epileptic seizures. All organs accumulate isoaspartyl proteins, but only the brain manifests an overt pathology. To further explore the role of PIMT in brain function, we undertook a global analysis of endogenous substrates for PIMT in mouse brain. Extracts from PIMT-KO mice were subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and blotted onto membranes. Isoaspartyl proteins were radiolabeled on-blot using [methyl-(3)H]S-adenosyl-L-methionine and recombinant PIMT. Fluorography of the blot revealed 30-35 (3)H-labeled proteins, 22 of which were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. These isoaspartate-prone proteins represent a wide range of cellular functions, including neuronal development, synaptic transmission, cytoskeletal structure and dynamics, energy metabolism, nitrogen metabolism, pH homeostasis, and protein folding. The following five proteins, all of which are rich in neurons, accumulated exceptional levels of isoaspartate: collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2/ULIP2/DRP-2), dynamin 1, synapsin I, synapsin II, and tubulin. Several of the proteins identified here are prone to age-dependent oxidation in vivo, and many have been identified as autoimmune antigens, of particular interest because isoaspartate can greatly enhance the antigenicity of self-peptides. We propose that the PIMT-KO phenotype results from the cumulative effect of isoaspartate-related damage to a number of the neuron-rich proteins detected in this study. Further study of the isoaspartate-prone proteins identified here may help elucidate the molecular basis of one or more developmental and/or age-related neurological diseases.

Pub.: 09 Sep '06, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

13 Protein L-isoaspartyl, D-aspartyl O-methyltransferases: Catalysts for protein repair.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl, D-aspartyl O-methyltransferases (PIMTs) are ancient enzymes distributed through all phylogenetic domains. PIMTs catalyze the methylation of L-isoaspartyl, and to a lesser extent D-aspartyl, residues arising from the spontaneous deamidation and isomerization of protein asparaginyl and aspartyl residues. PIMTs catalyze the methylation of isoaspartyl residues in a large number of primary sequence configurations, which accounts for the broad specificity of the enzyme for protein substrates both in vitro and in vivo. PIMT-catalyzed methylation of isoaspartyl substrates initiates the repair of the polypeptide backbone in its damaged substrates by a spontaneous mechanism that involves a succinimidyl intermediate. The repair process catalyzed by PEVITs is not completely efficient, however, leaving open the possibility that unidentified enzymatic activities cooperate with PIMT in the repair process. Structurally, PIMTs are members of the class I family of AdoMet-dependent methyltransferases. PIMTs have a unique topological arrangement of strands in the central β sheet that provides a signature for this class of enzymes. The regulation and physiological significance of PIMT has been studied in several model organisms. PIMTs are constitutively synthesized by cells, but they can be upregulated in response to conditions that are potentially damaging to protein structures, or when proteins are stored for prolonged periods of time. Disruption of PIMT genes in bacteria and simple eukaryotes produces subtle phenotypes that are apparent only under stress. Loss of PIMT function in transgenic mice leads to fatalepilepsy, suggesting that PIMT function is particularly important to neurons in mammals.

Pub.: 01 Jan '06, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

A known functional polymorphism (Ile120Val) of the human PCMT1 gene and risk of spina bifida.

Abstract: Folate binding protein 1 (Folr1) knockout mice with low maternal folate concentrations have been shown to be excellent animal models for human folate-responsive neural tube defects (NTDs). Previous studies using the Folr1 knockout mice revealed that maternal folate supplementation up-regulates the expression of the PCMT1 gene in Folr1 nullizygous neural tube tissue during neural tube closure. PCMT1 encodes the protein repair enzyme l-isoaspartate (d-aspartate) O-methyltransferase (PIMT) that converts abnormal d-aspartyl and l-isoaspartyl residues to the normal l-aspartyl form. PIMT is known to protect certain neural cells from Bax-induced apoptosis. Pcmt1-deficient mice present with abnormal AdoMet/AdoHcy homeostasis. We hypothesized that a known functional polymorphism (Ile120Val) in the human PCMT1 gene is associated with an increased risk of folate-responsive human NTDs. A case-control study was conducted to investigate a possible association between this polymorphism and risk of spina bifida. Compared to the Ile/Ile and Ile/Val genotypes, the homozygous Val/Val genotype showed decreased risk for spina bifida (adjusted odds ratio=0.6, 95% confidence interval: 0.4-0.9). Our results showed that the Ile120Val polymorphism of PCMT1 gene is a genetic modifier for the risk of spina bifida. Val/Val genotype was associated with a reduction in risk for spina bifida.

Pub.: 01 Nov '05, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase catalyzes in vivo racemization of Aspartate-25 in mammalian histone H2B.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) has been implicated in the repair or metabolism of proteins containing atypical L-isoaspartyl peptide bonds. The repair hypothesis is supported by previous studies demonstrating in vitro repair of isoaspartyl peptides via formation of a succinimide intermediate. Utilization of this mechanism in vivo predicts that PIMT modification sites should exhibit significant racemization as a side reaction to the main repair pathway. We therefore studied the D/L ratio of aspartic acid at specific sites in histone H2B, a known target of PIMT in vivo. Using H2B from canine brain, we found that Asp25 (the major PIMT target site in H2B) was significantly racemized, exhibiting d/l ratios as high as 0.12, whereas Asp51, a comparison site, exhibited negligible racemization (D/L < or = 0.01). Racemization of Asp25 was independent of animal age over the range of 2-15 years. Using H2B from 2-3-week mouse brain, we found a similar D/L ratio (0.14) at Asp25 in wild type mice, but substantially less racemization (D/L = 0.035) at Asp25 in PIMT-deficient mice. These findings suggest that PIMT functions in the repair, rather than the metabolic turnover, of isoaspartyl proteins in vivo. Because PIMT has numerous substrates in cells, these findings also suggest that D-aspartate may be more common in cellular proteins than hitherto imagined and that its occurrence, in some proteins at least, is independent of animal age.

Pub.: 24 May '05, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Expression and activity of l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase decrease in stage progression of human astrocytic tumors.

Abstract: Protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) functions as a repair enzyme that acts upon damaged proteins bearing abnormal aspartyl residues. We previously reported that PIMT expression and activity are reduced by half in human epileptic hippocampus. Here we investigated PIMT regulation in astrocytic tumors, which are the most common human brain tumors. PIMT expression and enzyme activity were significantly decreased in all grades of human astrocytic tumors. More precisely, PIMT levels were significantly lower by 76% in pilocytic astrocytomas (grade I), 46% in astrocytomas (grade II), 69% in anaplastic astrocytomas (grade III), and a marked 80% in glioblastomas (grade IV) as compared to normal brains. RT-PCR analysis showed that levels of type I PIMT mRNA were up-regulated while those of type II PIMT mRNA were down-regulated in glioblastomas. Furthermore, the reduced PIMT levels correlated closely with a decrease in the number of neuron cells in astrocytic tumors as assessed by measuring the neuron-specific enolase level. Many proteins with abnormal aspartyl residues accumulated in brain tumors and some were specific to individual grades of astrocytic tumors. Similar results were obtained, either by measuring the reduction in PIMT activity and expression or by measuring the formation of abnormal proteins, in an orthotopic rat brain tumor model implanted with invasive CNS-1 glioma cells. The novelty of these findings was to provide the first evidence for a marked reduction of PIMT expression and activity during stage progression of astrocytic tumors in humans.

Pub.: 29 Apr '05, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

DTL, the Drosophila homolog of PIMT/Tgs1 nuclear receptor coactivator-interacting protein/RNA methyltransferase, has an essential role in development.

Abstract: We describe a novel Drosophila gene, dtl (Drosophila Tat-like), which encodes a 60-kDa protein with RNA binding activity and a methyltransferase (MTase) domain. Dtl has an essential role in Drosophila development. The homologs of DTL recently described include PIMT (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-interacting protein with a methyltransferase domain), an RNA-binding protein that interacts with and enhances the nuclear receptor coactivator function, and TGS1, the methyltransferase involved in the formation of the 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine (m3G) cap of non-coding small RNAs. DTL is expressed throughout all of the developmental stages of Drosophila. The dtl mRNA has two ORFs (uORF and dORF). The product of dORF is the 60-kDa PIMT/TGS1 homolog protein that is translated from an internal AUG located 538 bp downstream from the 5' end of the message. This product of dtl is responsible for the formation of the m3G cap of small RNAs of Drosophila. Trimethylguanosine synthase activity is essential in Drosophila. The deletion in the dORF or point mutation in the putative MTase active site results in a reduced pool of m3G cap-containing RNAs and lethality in the early pupa stage. The 5' region of the dtl message also has the coding capacity (uORF) for a 178 amino acid protein. For complete rescue of the lethal phenotype of dtl mutants, the presence of the entire dtl transcription unit is required. Transgenes that carry mutations within the uORF restore the MTase activity but result in only partial rescue of the lethal phenotype. Interestingly, two transgenes bearing a mutation in uORF or dORF in trans can result in complete rescue.

Pub.: 03 Feb '05, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Requirement of protein l-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase for transcriptional activation of trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) gene by estrogen receptor alpha.

Abstract: Lysine- and arginine-specific methyltransferases have been shown to act as either direct or secondary transcriptional co-activator of the estrogen receptor (ERα). However, little is known about the role of protein l-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT) on transcriptional regulation. Here, we show that PIMT acts as a co-activator for ERα-mediated transcription. Activation of the estrogen response element (ERE) promoter by β-estradiol (E(2)) was suppressed by knockdown of PIMT, and enhanced by overexpression of wild-type PIMT. However, the ERE promoter activity was resistant to E(2) stimulation in cells overexpressing a catalytically inactive PIMT mutant, G88A. Consistent with these results, the expression of the endogenous ERα response gene trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) by E(2) was completely abrogated by PIMT depletion and decreased to approximately 50% when PIMT mutant G88A was expressed. In addition, over-expression of PIMT significantly increased the levels of TFF1 mRNA in the presence or absence of E(2). Interestingly, PIMT interacted with ERα and was distributed to the cytosol and the nucleus. The chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that PIMT was recruited to the promoter of TFF1 gene together with ERα in an E(2)-dependent manner, which was accompanied by uploading of RNA polymerase II on the promoter. Taken together, the results suggest that PIMT may act as a co-activator in ERα-mediated transcription through its recruitment to the promoter via interacting with ERα.

Pub.: 03 Mar '12, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Cross-regulation between protein L-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase and ERK in epithelial mesenchymal transition of MDA-MB-231 cells.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT) regulates cell adhesion in various cancer cell lines through activation of integrin αv and the PI3K pathway. The epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) enables epithelial cells to acquire the characteristics of mesenchymal cells, and to allow them to migrate for metastasis. Here, we examined the relationship between PIMT and EMT with attached or detached MDA-MB 231 cells.Human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 cells were maintained in a suspension on poly-HEMA in the presence or absence of PIMT siRNA or ERK inhibitor PD98059. The mRNAs and proteins were analyzed using RT-PCR and immunoblotting, respectively.During cellular incubation under detached conditions, PIMT, integrin αv and EMT proteins, such as Snail, Slug and matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2), were significantly increased in correlation with the phosphorylation of ERK1/2. The ERK inhibitor PD98059 (25 μmol/L) strongly suppressed the expression of the proteins and PIMT. Interestingly, PIMT siRNA blocked the phosphorylation of ERK and the expression of the EMT proteins. Additionally, PIMT and ERK phosphorylation were both co-activated by treatment with TGF-β (10 ng/mL) and TNF-α (10 ng/mL).A tight cross-regulation exists between ERK and PIMT in regards to their activation and expression during the EMT.

Pub.: 16 Aug '11, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Computational investigation of the substrate recognition mechanism of protein D-aspartyl (L-isoaspartyl) O-methyltransferase by docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies and application to interpret size exclusion chromatography data.

Abstract: Unusual amino acid residues such as L-β-aspartyl (Asp), D-α-Asp, and D-β-Asp have been detected in proteins and peptides such as α-crystallin in the lens and β-amyloid in the brain. These residues increase with age, and hence they are associated with age-related diseases. The enzyme protein D-aspartyl (L-isoaspartyl) O-methyltransferase (PIMT) can revert these residues back to the normal L-α-Asp residue. PIMT catalyzes transmethylation of S-adenosylmethionine to L-β-Asp and D-α-Asp residues in proteins and peptides. In this work, the substrate recognition mechanism of PIMT was investigated using docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies. It was shown that the hydrogen bonds of Ser60 and Val214 to the carboxyl group of Asp are important components during substrate recognition by PIMT. In addition, specific hydrogen bonds were observed between the main chains of the substrates and those of Ala61 and Ile212 of PIMT when PIMT recognized L-β-Asp. Hydrophobic interactions between the (n-1) residue of the substrates and Ile212 and Val214 of PIMT may also have an important effect on substrate binding. Volume changes upon substrate binding were also evaluated in the context of possible application to interpretation of size exclusion chromatography data.

Pub.: 12 Jul '11, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

The V119I polymorphism in protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase alters the substrate-binding interface.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs isoaspartate residues in damaged proteins, and it contains a Val-Ile polymorphismin in alpha5, approximately 13 A from its active site. Val119 has lower activity and thermal stability but increased affinity for endogenous substrates. Studies suggest that heterozygosity for Val/Ile favors efficient isoaspartate repair. We have performed multiple molecular dynamics simulations of 119I and 119V PIMT. Both V119 and I119 interact with the same residues throughout all of the simulations. However, the larger Ile altered the orientations of alpha5 and beta5, both of which have co-substrate binding residues on their distal ends. I119 increases the flexibility of several residues, loosening up the S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-binding site. These subtle changes are propagated towards the isoaspartate-docking site via residues common to both active sites. The increased mobility in 119I PIMT reorients alpha3, resulting in a salt-bridge network at the substrate-binding interface that disrupts several key side-chain interactions in the isoaspartate site. In contrast, 119V PIMT remains quite rigid with little change to the co-substrate binding site, which could hinder SAM's binding and release, accounting for the decreased activity. These results shed light on the molecular basis behind the decreased activity and increased specificity for endogenous substrates of 119V PIMT relative to the 119I variant. 119I PIMT catalyzes the methylation reaction but may have difficulties recognizing and orienting specific substrates due to its distorted substrate-binding site. Heterozygosity for both the Ile and Val alleles may provide the best of both worlds, allowing the fast and specific methylation of damaged proteins.

Pub.: 06 Oct '09, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Valproic acid enhances protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase expression by stimulating extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway.

Abstract: Proteins are susceptible to various non-enzymatic post-translational modifications occurring during aging and in certain pathological states. The protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is an enzyme that recognizes and repairs the abnormal L-isoaspartyl residues in proteins. Recently, we reported that PIMT expression was stimulated by the anti-epileptic drug valproic acid and that this was mediated through the glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3)/beta-catenin pathway. In this study, to gain further insights into which of the signaling pathways activated by valproic acid regulate PIMT abundance, astrocytoma U-87 MG and neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were treated with this drug to investigate the possible involvement of the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in PIMT induction. Valproic acid increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation on Thr202/Tyr204 and Thr185/Tyr187, respectively. Pharmacological inhibitors against the kinases Src, c-Raf, MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 abolished the ERK1/2 phosphorylation stimulated by valproic acid, thus preventing PIMT induction by the drug. Furthermore, MEK1/2 inhibition with U0126 blocked the higher phosphorylation of RSK-1 on Thr359/Ser363 and of GSK-3beta on Ser9 as well as the increased expression of RSK-1, beta-catenin and PIMT upon treatment with valproic acid. RSK-1 knockdown by interfering RNA abrogated the increased expression of RSK-1, beta-catenin and PIMT as well as the induced phosphorylation of RSK-1 and GSK-3beta due to valproic acid. Thus, our findings demonstrated that PIMT up-regulation by valproic acid required the activation of the ERK signaling pathway including RSK-1 the latter being responsible for inactivating GSK-3 and subsequently leading to beta-catenin stabilization.

Pub.: 18 Apr '09, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Posttranslational Protein Modifications in Type 1 Diabetes - Genetic Studies with PCMT1, the Repair Enzyme Protein Isoaspartate Methyltransferase (PIMT) Encoding Gene.

Abstract: Posttranslational protein modifications have been implicated in the development of autoimmunity. Protein L-isoaspartate (D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs modified proteins and is encoded by PCMT1, located in a region linked to type 1 diabetes (T1D), namely IDDM5.To evaluate the association between genetic variations in the PCMT1 gene and T1D.Firstly, PCMT1 was sequenced in 26 patients with T1D (linked to IDDM5) and 10 control subjects. The variations found in PCMT1 were then tested (alone and interacting with a functional polymorphism in SUMO4 and with HLA) for association with T1D in 253 families (using transmission disequilibrium test). In a third step, the association of the functional variation in PCMT1 (rs4816) with T1D was analyzed in 778 T1D patients and 749 controls (using chi-square test). In vitro promoter activity was assessed by transfecting INS-1E cells with PCMT1 promoter constructs and a reporter gene, with or without cytokine stimulation.Four polymorphisms in complete linkage disequilibrium were identified in PCMT1 (5' to the gene (rs11155676), exon 5 (rs4816) and exon 8 (rs7818 and rs4552)). In the whole cohort of 253 families, the allele associated with increased PIMT enzyme activity (rs4816, allele A) was less frequently transmitted to the affected than to the non-affected offspring (46% vs. 53%, p = 0.099). This finding was even more evident in the subset of families where the proband had high-risk SUMO4 (p = 0.069) or low-risk HLA (p = 0.086). Surprisingly, in the case-control study with 778 cases and 749 controls, an inverse trend was found (40.36% of patients and 36.98% of controls had the allele, p = 0.055). PCMT1 promoter activity increased with cytokine stimulation, but no differences were detected between the constructs adjacent to rs11155676.PCMT1 was virtually associated with T1D in groups defined by other risk genes (SUMO4 and HLA). A general association in a not further defined sample of T1D patients was not evident. Verification in a larger population is needed.

Pub.: 19 Mar '09, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Isoaspartyl formation in creatine kinase B is associated with loss of enzymatic activity; implications for the linkage of isoaspartate accumulation and neurological dysfunction in the PIMT knockout mouse.

Abstract: Isoaspartate (isoAsp) formation is a common type of spontaneous protein damage that is normally kept in check by the repair enzyme protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT). PIMT-KO (knockout) mice exhibit a pronounced neuropathology highlighted by death from an epileptic seizure at 30 to 60 days after birth. The mechanisms by which isoaspartyl damage disrupts normal brain function are incompletely understood. Proteomic analysis of the PIMT-KO mouse brain has shown that a number of key neuronal proteins accumulate high levels of isoAsp, but the extent to which their cellular functions is altered has yet to be determined. One of the major neuronal targets of PIMT is creatine kinase B (CKB), a well-characterized enzyme whose activity is relatively easy to assay. We show here that (1) the specific activity of CKB is significantly reduced in the brains of PIMT-deficient mice, (2) that in vitro aging of recombinant CKB results in significant accumulation of isoAsp sites with concomitant loss of enzymatic activity, and (3) that incubation of in vitro aged CKB with PIMT and its methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine substantially repairs the aged CKB with regard to both its isoAsp content and its enzymatic activity. These results, combined with similarity in phenotypes of PIMT-KO and CKB-KO mice, suggests that loss of normal CKB structure and function contributes to the mechanisms by which isoAsp accumulation leads to CNS dysfunction in the PIMT-KO mouse.

Pub.: 24 Jun '14, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Dopamine down-regulation of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase is dependent on reactive oxygen species in SH-SY5Y cells.

Abstract: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Dopamine, via the oxidative stress that it generates in the cytosol, could contribute to the selective loss of neurons observed in PD. Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is an enzyme that repairs L-isoaspartyl-containing proteins and possesses anti-apoptotic properties. PIMT expression has been shown to decrease with age. Together, these observations prompted us to investigate whether dopamine can regulate PIMT expression in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Here, we report that dopamine down-regulated PIMT at both gene and protein levels. The same inhibition of PIMT protein level was caused by the electron transport chain inhibitor, rotenone, which was accompanied, in both cases, by an increase in cell death and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In fact, pre-treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine blocked PIMT dopamine-associated down-regulation. PCMT1 promoter mapping experiments allowed the identification of two regions that showed different sensitivity to DA action. A first region localized between 61 and 94bp upstream of transcription start site was very sensitive to dopamine inhibition while a second region between 41 and 61bp appeared more resistant to dopamine inhibitory effect. The inhibition of PCMT1 promoter activity was mediated by dopamine-induced ROS since it was prevented by the hydroxyl radical scavenger N,N'-dimethylthiourea. Conversely, H2O2 inhibited in a dose-dependent manner the transcriptional activity of PCMT1 promoter. Therefore, our findings identified new molecular mechanisms, cytosolic dopamine and its resulting ROS, as inhibitors of PIMT expression. This suggests that ROS generated from cytosolic dopamine could reduce both the PCMT1 gene promoter activity and the PIMT protein level thus decreasing its capacity to repair proteins involved in apoptosis and could contribute to neuronal cell death observed in PD.

Pub.: 19 Mar '14, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Isoaspartyl protein damage and repair in mouse retina.

Abstract: To determine the propensity of retinal proteins for spontaneous damage via formation of isoaspartyl sites, a common type of protein damage that could contribute to retinal disease.Tissue extracts were obtained from retinas and brains of control mice and from mice in which the gene for protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT; an enzyme that repairs isoaspartyl protein damage) was knocked out. PIMT expression in these extracts was measured by Western blot, and its specific activity was assayed by monitoring the rate of [(3)H]methyl transfer from S-adenosyl-[methyl-(3)H]L-methionine to γ-globulin. Isoaspartate levels in extracts were measured by their capacity to accept [(3)H]methyl groups via the PIMT-catalyzed methylation reaction. To compare molecular weight distributions of isoaspartyl-rich proteins in retina versus brain, proteins from PIMT knockout (KO) and control mice were separated by SDS-PAGE and transferred to polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF). Isoaspartyl proteins were (3)H-labeled on-blot using a PIMT overlay and imaged by autoradiography.When normalized to the β-actin content of each tissue, retina was found to be nearly identical to brain with regard to expression and activity of PIMT and its propensity to accumulate isoaspartyl sites when PIMT is absent. The two tissues show distinct differences in the molecular weight distribution of isoaspartyl proteins.The retina is rich in PIMT activity and contains a wide range of proteins that are highly susceptible to this type of protein damage. Recoverin may be one such protein. Isoaspartate formation, along with oxidation, should be considered as a potential source of protein dysfunction and autoimmunity in retinal disease.

Pub.: 20 Feb '14, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Brain proteomics supports the role of glutamate metabolism and suggests other metabolic alterations in protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT)-knockout mice.

Abstract: Protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs the isoaspartyl residues (isoAsp) that originate from asparagine deamidation and aspartic acid (Asp) isomerization to Asp residues. Deletion of the gene encoding PIMT in mice (Pcmt1) leads to isoAsp accumulation in all tissues measured, especially in the brain. These PIMT-knockout (PIMT-KO) mice have perturbed glutamate metabolism and die prematurely of epileptic seizures. To elucidate the role of PIMT further, brain proteomes of PIMT-KO mice and controls were analyzed. The isoAsp levels from two of the detected 67 isoAsp sites (residue 98 from calmodulin and 68 from glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) were quantified and found to be significantly increased in PIMT-KO mice (p < 0.01). Additionally, the abundance of at least 151 out of the 1017 quantified proteins was found to be altered in PIMT-KO mouse brains. Gene ontology analysis revealed that many down-regulated proteins are involved in cellular amino acid biosynthesis. For example, the serine synthesis pathway was suppressed, possibly leading to reduced serine production in PIMT-KO mice. Additionally, the abundances of enzymes in the glutamate-glutamine cycle were altered toward the accumulation of glutamate. These findings support the involvement of PIMT in glutamate metabolism and suggest that the absence of PIMT also affects other processes involving amino acid synthesis and metabolism.

Pub.: 21 Aug '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

PIMT prevents the apoptosis of endothelial cells in response to glycated low density lipoproteins and protective effects of grape seed procyanidin B2.

Abstract: The development of diabetic angiopathy is associated with profound vascular endothelial cells (VEC) dysfunction and apoptosis. Glycated low density lipoproteins (gly-LDL) continuously produced in the setting of diabetic patients play an important role in causing VEC dysfunction and apoptosis. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely elusive. Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is a widely expressed protein repair enzyme by multiple cell types of arterial wall including VEC. Our previous proteomic studies showed that the expression of PIMT was significantly decreased in the aorta of diabetic rats as compared with control rats and treatment with grape seed procyanidin extracts significantly increased the PIMT expression in diabetic rats. We hypothesized that PIMT plays a critical role in gly-LDL induced VEC apoptosis; grape seed procyanidin B2 (GSPB2) protect against gly-LDL induced VEC apoptosis through PIMT regulation.HUVEC transfected negative control and PIMT siRNA were treated with or without GSPB2 (10 µmol/L) for 48 h. Moreover, HUVEC of PIMT overexpression were stimulated by gly-LDL (50 µg/ml) in the presence or absence of GSPB2 (10 µmol/L) for 48 h. Our results showed that gly-LDL downregulated PIMT expression and PIMT overexpression or GSPB2 significantly attenuated gly-LDL induced VEC apoptosis. PIMT siRNA increased VEC apoptosis with up-regulation of p53, cytochrome c release, caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation. Mechanistically, overexpression of PIMT or GSPB2 increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and GSK3β in the gly-LDL induced VEC.In summary, our study identified PIMT as a key player responsible for gly-LDL induced VEC apoptosis and GSPB2 protect against gly-LDL induced VEC apoptosis by PIMT up-regulation. Targeting PIMT including use of GSPB2 could be turned into clinical application in the fighting against diabetic vascular complications.

Pub.: 08 Aug '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Molecular ageing of alpha- and Beta-synucleins: protein damage and repair mechanisms.

Abstract: Abnormal α-synuclein aggregates are hallmarks of a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Alpha synuclein and β-synucleins are susceptible to post-translational modification as isoaspartate protein damage, which is regulated in vivo by the action of the repair enzyme protein L-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT). We aged in vitro native α-synuclein, the α-synuclein familial mutants A30P and A53T that give rise to Parkinsonian phenotypes, and β-synuclein, at physiological pH and temperature for a time course of up to 20 days. Resolution of native α-synuclein and β-synuclein by two dimensional techniques showed the accumulation of a number of post-translationally modified forms of both proteins. The levels of isoaspartate formed over the 20 day time course were quantified by exogenous methylation with PIMT using S-Adenosyl-L-[(3)H-methyl]methionine as a methyl donor, and liquid scintillation counting of liberated (3)H-methanol. All α-synuclein proteins accumulated isoaspartate at ∼1% of molecules/day, ∼20 times faster than for β-synuclein. This disparity between rates of isoaspartate was confirmed by exogenous methylation of synucleins by PIMT, protein resolution by one-dimensional denaturing gel electrophoresis, and visualisation of (3)H-methyl esters by autoradiography. Protein silver staining and autoradiography also revealed that α-synucleins accumulated stable oligomers that were resistant to denaturing conditions, and which also contained isoaspartate. Co-incubation of approximately equimolar β-synuclein with α-synuclein resulted in a significant reduction of isoaspartate formed in all α-synucleins after 20 days of ageing. Co-incubated α- and β-synucleins, or α, or β synucleins alone, were resolved by non-denaturing size exclusion chromatography and all formed oligomers of ∼57.5 kDa; consistent with tetramerization. Direct association of α-synuclein with β-synuclein in column fractions or from in vitro ageing co-incubations was demonstrated by their co-immunoprecipitation. These results provide an insight into the molecular differences between α- and β-synucleins during ageing, and highlight the susceptibility of α-synuclein to protein damage, and the potential protective role of β-synuclein.

Pub.: 01 May '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Integrated proteomic analysis of major isoaspartyl-containing proteins in the urine of wild type and protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase-deficient mice.

Abstract: The formation of isoaspartyl residues (isoAsp or isoD) via either aspartyl isomerization or asparaginyl deamidation alters protein structure and potentially biological function. This is a spontaneous and nonenzymatic process, ubiquitous both in vivo and in nonbiological systems, such as in protein pharmaceuticals. In almost all organisms, protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT, EC2.1.1.77) recognizes and initiates the conversion of isoAsp back to aspartic acid. Additionally, alternative proteolytic and excretion pathways to metabolize isoaspartyl-containing proteins have been proposed but not fully explored, largely due to the analytical challenges for detecting isoAsp. We report here the relative quantitation and site profiling of isoAsp in urinary proteins from wild type and PIMT-deficient mice, representing products from excretion pathways. First, using a biochemical approach, we found that the total isoaspartyl level of proteins in urine of PIMT-deficient male mice was elevated. Subsequently, the major isoaspartyl protein species in urine from these mice were identified as major urinary proteins (MUPs) by shotgun proteomics. To enhance the sensitivity of isoAsp detection, a targeted proteomic approach using electron transfer dissociation-selected reaction monitoring (ETD-SRM) was developed to investigate isoAsp sites in MUPs. A total of 38 putative isoAsp modification sites in MUPs were investigated, with five derived from the deamidation of asparagine that were confirmed to contribute to the elevated isoAsp levels. Our findings lend experimental evidence for the hypothesized excretion pathway for isoAsp proteins. Additionally, the developed method opens up the possibility to explore processing mechanisms of isoaspartyl proteins at the molecular level, such as the fate of protein pharmaceuticals in circulation.

Pub.: 19 Jan '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Mitochondrial uncoupler carbonyl cyanide M-chlorophenylhydrazone induces the multimer assembly and activity of repair enzyme protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase.

Abstract: The protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs damaged aspartyl residues in proteins. It is commonly described as a cytosolic protein highly expressed in brain tissues. Here, we report that PIMT is an active monomeric as well as a multimeric protein in mitochondria isolated from neuroblastoma cells. Upon treatments with mitochondrial uncoupler carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), PIMT monomers level decreased by half while that of PIMT multimers was higher. Gel electrophoresis under reducing conditions of CCCP-induced PIMT multimers led to PIMT monomers accumulation, indicating that multimers resulted from disulfide-linked PIMT monomers. The antioxidant ascorbic acid significantly lowered CCCP-induced formation of PIMT multimers, suggesting that reactive oxygen species contributed to PIMT multimerization. In addition, the elevation of PIMT multimers catalytic activity upon treatments with CCCP was severely inhibited by the reducing agent dithiothreitol. This indicated that PIMT monomers have lower enzymatic activity following CCCP treatments and that activation of PIMT multimers is essentially dependent on the formation of disulfide-linked monomers of PIMT. Furthermore, the perturbation of mitochondrial function by CCCP promoted the accumulation of damaged aspartyl residues in proteins with high molecular weights. Thus, this study demonstrates the formation of active PIMT multimers associated with mitochondria that could play a key role in repairing damaged proteins accumulating during mitochondrial dysfunction.

Pub.: 16 Jan '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Protein l-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase of Vibrio cholerae: interaction with cofactors and effect of osmolytes on unfolding.

Abstract: Protein l-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is an ubiquitous enzyme widely distributed in cells and plays a role in the repair of deamidated and isomerized proteins. In this study, we show that this enzyme is present in cytosolic extract of Vibrio cholerae, an enteric pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium and is enzymatically active. Additionally, we focus on the detailed biophysical characterization of the recombinant PIMT from V. cholerae to gain insight into its structure, stability and the cofactor binding. The equilibrium denaturation of PIMT has been studied using tryptophan fluorescence and CD spectroscopy. The far- and near-UV CD, as well as fluorescence experiments reveal the presence of a non-native intermediate in the folding pathway. Binding of the hydrophobic fluorescent probe, bis-ANS, to the intermediate occurs with high affinity because of the exposure of the hydrophobic clusters during the unfolding process. The existence of the probable intermediate has also been confirmed from limited tryptic digestion and DLS experiments. The protein shows higher binding affinity for AdoHcy, in comparison to AdoMet, and the binding increases the midpoint of thermal unfolding by 6 and 5 °C, respectively. Modeling and molecular dynamics simulations also support the higher stability of the protein in presence of AdoHcy.

Pub.: 01 Jan '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Early embryonic lethality of mice with disrupted transcription cofactor PIMT/NCOA6IP/Tgs1 gene.

Abstract: PIMT (also known as PIPMT/NCOA6IP/Tgs1), first isolated as a transcription coactivator PRIP (NCOA6)-interacting 96-kDa protein with RNA-binding property, possesses RNA methyltransferase activity. As a transcription coactivator binding protein, PIMT enhances the nuclear receptor transcriptional activity and its methyltransferase property is involved in the formation of the 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine cap of non-coding small RNAs, but the in vivo functions of this gene have not been fully explored. To elucidate the biological functions, we used gene targeting to generate mice with a disrupted PIMT/Tgs1 gene. Disruption of PIMT gene results in early embryonic lethality due to impairment of development around the blastocyst and uterine implantation stages. We show that PIMT is expressed in all cells of the E3.5day blastocyst in the mouse. PIMT null mutation abolished PIMT expression in all cells of the blastocyst and caused a reduction in the expression of Oct4 and Nanog transcription factor proteins in the E3.5 blastocyst resulting in the near failure to form inner cell mass (ICM). With conditional deletion of PIMT gene, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) exhibit defective wound healing in the scratch assay and a reduction in cell proliferation due to decreased G₀/G₁ transition and G₂/M phase cell cycle arrest. We conclude that PIMT/NCOA6IP, which is expressed in all cells of the 3.5 day stage blastocyst, is indispensable for early embryonic development.

Pub.: 18 Sep '12, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Considerations in the identification of endogenous substrates for protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase: the case of synuclein.

Abstract: Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs abnormal isoaspartyl peptide bonds in age-damaged proteins. It has been reported that synuclein, a protein implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, is a major target of PIMT in mouse brain. To extend this finding and explore its possible relevance to neurodegenerative diseases, we attempted to determine the stoichiometry of isoaspartate accumulation in synuclein in vivo and in vitro. Brain proteins from PIMT knockout mice were separated by 2D electrophoresis followed by on-blot [(3)H]-methylation to label isoaspartyl proteins, and by immunoblotting to confirm the coincident presence of synuclein. On-blot (3)H-methylation revealed numerous isoaspartyl proteins, but no signal in the position of synuclein. This finding was corroborated by immunoprecipitation of synuclein followed by on-blot (3)H-methylation. To assess the propensity of synuclein to form isoaspartyl sites in vitro, samples of recombinant mouse and human α-synucleins were aged for two weeks by incubation at pH 7.5 and 37 °C. The stoichiometries of isoaspartate accumulation were extremely low at 0.02 and 0.07 mol of isoaspartate per mol of protein respectively. Using a simple mathematical model based on the first order kinetics of isoaspartyl protein methyl ester hydrolysis, we ascribe the discrepancy between our results and the previous report to methodological limitations of the latter stemming from an inherent, and somewhat counterintuitive, relationship between the propensity of proteins to form isoaspartyl sites and the instability of the (3)H-methyl esters used to tag them. The results presented here indicate that synuclein is not a major target of PIMT in vivo, and emphasize the need to minimize methyl ester hydrolysis when using methylation to assess the abundance of isoaspartyl sites in proteins.

Pub.: 21 Aug '12, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Isoaspartate, carbamoyl phosphate synthase-1, and carbonic anhydrase-III as biomarkers of liver injury.

Abstract: We had previously shown that alcohol consumption can induce cellular isoaspartate protein damage via an impairment of the activity of protein isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT), an enzyme that triggers repair of isoaspartate protein damage. To further investigate the mechanism of isoaspartate accumulation, hepatocytes cultured from control or 4-week ethanol-fed rats were incubated in vitro with tubercidin or adenosine. Both these agents, known to elevate intracellular S-adenosylhomocysteine levels, increased cellular isoaspartate damage over that recorded following ethanol consumption in vivo. Increased isoaspartate damage was attenuated by treatment with betaine. To characterize isoaspartate-damaged proteins that accumulate after ethanol administration, rat liver cytosolic proteins were methylated using exogenous PIMT and (3)H-S-adenosylmethionine and proteins resolved by gel electrophoresis. Three major protein bands of ∼ 75-80 kDa, ∼ 95-100 kDa, and ∼ 155-160 kDa were identified by autoradiography. Column chromatography used to enrich isoaspartate-damaged proteins indicated that damaged proteins from ethanol-fed rats were similar to those that accrued in the livers of PIMT knockout (KO) mice. Carbamoyl phosphate synthase-1 (CPS-1) was partially purified and identified as the ∼ 160 kDa protein target of PIMT in ethanol-fed rats and in PIMT KO mice. Analysis of the liver proteome of 4-week ethanol-fed rats and PIMT KO mice demonstrated elevated cytosolic CPS-1 and betaine homocysteine S-methyltransferase-1 when compared to their respective controls, and a significant reduction of carbonic anhydrase-III (CA-III) evident only in ethanol-fed rats. Ethanol feeding of rats for 8 weeks resulted in a larger (∼ 2.3-fold) increase in CPS-1 levels compared to 4-week ethanol feeding indicating that CPS-1 accumulation correlated with the duration of ethanol consumption. Collectively, our results suggest that elevated isoaspartate and CPS-1, and reduced CA-III levels could serve as biomarkers of hepatocellular injury.

Pub.: 17 Feb '15, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Prediction of binding modes between protein L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase and peptide substrates including isomerized aspartic acid residues using in silico analytic methods for the substrate screening.

Abstract: Because the aspartic acid (Asp) residues in proteins are occasionally isomerized in the human body, not only l-α-Asp but also l-β-Asp, D-α-Asp and D-β-Asp are found in human proteins. In these isomerized aspartic acids, the proportion of D-β-Asp is the largest and the proportions of l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp found in human proteins are comparatively small. To explain the proportions of aspartic acid isomers, the possibility of an enzyme able to repair l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp is frequently considered. The protein L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is considered one of the possible repair enzymes for l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp. Human PIMT is an enzyme that recognizes both l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp, and catalyzes the methylation of their side chains. In this study, the binding modes between PIMT and peptide substrates containing l-β-Asp or D-α-Asp residues were investigated using computational protein-ligand docking and molecular dynamics simulations. The results indicate that carboxyl groups of both l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp were recognized in similar modes by PIMT and that the C-terminal regions of substrate peptides were located in similar positions on PIMT for both the l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp peptides. In contrast, for peptides containing l-α-Asp or D-β-Asp residues, which are not substrates of PIMT, the computationally constructed binding modes between PIMT and peptides greatly differed from those between PIMT and substrates. In the nonsubstrate peptides, not inter- but intra-molecular hydrogen bonds were observed, and the conformations of peptides were more rigid than those of substrates. Thus, the in silico analytical methods were able to distinguish substrates from nonsubstrates and the computational methods are expected to complement experimental analytical methods.

Pub.: 12 Mar '15, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

The protein l-isoaspartyl (d-aspartyl) methyltransferase protects against dopamine-induced apoptosis in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.

Abstract: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder in the world. The main causes of neurodegeneration in PD are mitochondrial impairment and oxidative stress promoted by dopamine (DA) metabolism in the cytosol. Protein l-isoaspartyl (d-aspartyl) methyltransferase (PIMT) is a protein repair enzyme with anti-apoptotic properties. We previously reported that PIMT was downregulated at both gene and protein levels by DA-induced oxidative stresses in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the anti-apoptotic function of PIMT toward DA-induced cell death to better understand its specific neuroprotective role. Overexpression of wild-type PIMT, in contrast to its inactive mutant, protected SH-SY5Y cells from cell death and caspase 3 activation upon DA treatments. The intrinsic pathway of apoptosis as measured by caspase 9 activity was triggered by reactive oxygen species produced from DA metabolism, and overexpression of wild-type PIMT completely prevented caspase 9 activity stimulated by DA. In addition, cells overexpressing wild-type PIMT produced significantly less reactive oxygen species despite DA treatment compared to cells that do not overexpress PIMT. Together, these data indicate that DA-associated PIMT downregulation is an important event contributing to neuronal cell death. More importantly, the PIMT anti-apoptotic capacity seems to be dependent on its involvement in the cellular antioxidant machinery.

Pub.: 25 Mar '15, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Crystal structure and activity of protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase from Vibrio cholerae, and the effect of AdoHcy binding.

Abstract: The repair enzyme Protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is widely distributed in various organisms. PIMT catalyzes S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) dependent methylation of abnormal L-isoaspartyl residues, formed by the deamidation of asparagines and isomerization of aspartates. We report the crystal structure of PIMT of Vibrio cholerae (VcPIMT), the aetiological agent for cholera, complexed with the demethylated cofactor S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy) to 2.05 Å resolution. A stretch of residues (39-58), lining the substrate-binding site, is disordered. Urea-induced unfolding free energy for apo and VcPIMT-AdoHcy complex reveals greater stability for the cofactor-bound protein. The kinetic parameters for the methyltransferase activity of the recombinant VcPIMT was determined using a continuous spectrophotometric color-based assay using the peptide substrate [VYP(L-isoD)HA]. The enzyme exhibited activity higher than the Escherichia coli enzyme and closer to those from thermophilic bacteria and the mammalian source. The association constant for substrate binding is 2.29 × 10(6) M(-1), quite similar to that for AdoHcy. The crystal structure and the model of the peptide-bound structure indicate that the majority of the interactions used for cofactor/substrate binding are provided by the main-chain atoms. Evolutionary relationships derived based on a phylogenetic tree constructed using the PIMT sequences are in conformity with the crystal structures of nine AdoHcy-bound PIMTs.

Pub.: 11 Aug '15, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Protein repair L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase 1 (PIMT1) in rice improves seed longevity by preserving embryo vigor and viability.

Abstract: Damaged proteins containing abnormal isoaspartyl (isoAsp) accumulate as seeds age and the abnormality is thought to undermine seed vigor. Protein-L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is involved in isoAsp-containing protein repair. Two PIMT genes from rice (Oryza sativa L.), designated as OsPIMT1 and OsPIMT2, were isolated and investigated for their roles. The results indicated that OsPIMT2 was mainly present in green tissues, but OsPIMT1 largely accumulated in embryos. Confocal visualization of the transient expression of OsPIMTs showed that OsPIMT2 was localized in the chloroplast and nucleus, whereas OsPIMT1 was predominately found in the cytosol. Artificial aging results highlighted the sensitivity of the seeds of OsPIMT1 mutant line when subjected to accelerated aging. Overexpression of OsPIMT1 in transgenic seeds reduced the accumulation of isoAsp-containing protein in embryos, and increased embryo viability. The germination percentage of transgenic seeds overexpressing OsPIMT1 increased 9-15% compared to the WT seeds after 21-day of artificial aging, whereas seeds from the OsPIMT1 RNAi lines overaccumulated isoAsp in embryos and experienced rapid loss of seed germinability. Taken together, these data strongly indicated that OsPIMT1-related seed longevity improvement is probably due to the repair of detrimental isoAsp-containing proteins that over accumulate in embryos when subjected to accelerated aging.

Pub.: 07 Oct '15, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Impact of Maintenance Therapy for the Prevention of Peri-implant Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Abstract: At the present time, peri-implantitis has become a global burden that occurs with a frequency from 1% to 47% at implant level. Therefore, we aimed herein at assessing the impact of peri-implant maintenance therapy (PIMT) on the prevention of peri-implant diseases. Electronic and manual literature searches were conducted by 3 independent reviewers using several databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Oral Health Group Trials Register, for articles up to June 2015 without language restriction. Articles were included if they were clinical trials aimed at demonstrating the incidence of peri-implant diseases under a strict regime or not of PIMT. Implant survival and failure rate were studied as secondary outcomes. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the influence of PIMT and other reported variables upon peri-implant diseases. Thirteen and 10 clinical trials were included in the qualitative and quantitative analysis, respectively. Mucositis was affected by history of periodontitis and mean PIMT at implant and patient levels, respectively. Similarly, significant effects of history of periodontal disease were obtained for peri-implantitis for both implant and patient levels. Furthermore, mean PIMT interval was demonstrated to influence the incidence of peri-implantitis at implant but not patient level. PIMT interval showed significance at both levels. For implant survival, implants under PIMT have 0.958 the incident event than those with no PIMT. Within the limitations of the present systematic review, it can be concluded that implant therapy must not be limited to the placement and restoration of dental implants but to the implementation of PIMT to potentially prevent biologic complications and hence to heighten the long-term success rate. Although it must be tailored to a patient's risk profiling, our findings suggest reason to claim a minimum recall PIMT interval of 5 to 6 mo. Additionally, it must be stressed that even in the establishment of PIMT, biologic complications might occur. Thus, patient-, clinical-, and implant-related factors must be thoroughly explored.

Pub.: 25 Dec '15, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

The enzyme L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) methyltransferase is required for VEGF-dependent endothelial cell migration and tubulogenesis.

Abstract: The protein L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) methyltransferase (PIMT) methylates proteins carrying altered aspartyl residues in their structure. PIMT is postulated to limit the accumulation of these damaged proteins with abnormal aspartyl residues. However, little is known about the role of PIMT in tumor growth and almost nothing about its involvement in angiogenic processes. We previously reported that PIMT was up-regulated when endothelial cells were detached from extracellular matrix, leading us to postulate that PIMT could play a critical role during angiogenic steps, since the contacts between endothelial cells and the extracellular matrix are intensively regulated during this process. Here, we demonstrated that PIMT down-regulation by siRNA in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) inhibited both cell migration and tube formation in vitro when stimulated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Conversely, overexpression of wild-type PIMT promoted HUVEC migration in the presence of VEGF, while this response was prevented in cells transfected with the inactive mutant PIMT(D83V). Similar results were obtained with the two forms of PIMT regarding their capacity to regulate the action of VEGF during the formation of capillary-like structures in vitro. Together, these data highlight the importance of the catalytic activity of PIMT to mediate VEGF effects during endothelial cell migration and tube formation in angiogenesis. Furthermore, these results identify a new function for PIMT as an enzyme involved in pro-angiogenic processes.

Pub.: 08 Jan '16, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Chaperone protein l-isoaspartate (d-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase as a novel predictor of poor prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma.

Abstract: Endoplasmic reticulum stress and chaperone dysfunction have recently been associated with poor prognoses in various cancers. The newly discovered chaperone protein l-isoaspartyl (d-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase (PIMT) regulates the viability of cancer cells in various cancers, although no clinical information regarding the relationship between lung cancer and PIMT expression has been reported. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the relationship between PIMT expression and the prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma. Paraffin-embedded lung tissues obtained from 208 patients with surgically resected lung adenocarcinoma were subjected to immunohistochemical analyses using primary antibodies against PIMT. Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank tests, and the Cox proportional hazards model were used to analyze the association between PIMT expression and patient survival. Strong PIMT expression was detected in 106 (50.9%) patients, being particularly observed in patients with advanced stages of lung adenocarcinoma. Strong PIMT expression was associated with that of 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein, a marker of endoplasmic reticulum stress. Patients with strong PIMT expression had a shorter survival time (Kaplan-Meier analysis, P<.001). Multivariate Cox hazard regression analysis demonstrated that strong PIMT expression was an independent predictor of poor prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma, including those with stage I disease (hazard ratios, 6.45 and 6.81, respectively; 95% confidence intervals, 2.46-16.9 and 1.79-25.8, respectively; P<.001 and P=.005, respectively). Collectively, strong PIMT expression was a predictive marker of poor prognosis for surgically resected lung adenocarcinoma, and this finding might help clinicians determine the need for postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage I lung adenocarcinoma.

Pub.: 22 Mar '16, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Contribution of protein isoaspartate methyl transferase (PIMT) in the survival of Salmonella Typhimurium under oxidative stress and virulence.

Abstract: The enteric pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) survives inside the oxidative environment of phagocytic cells. Phagocyte generated oxidants primarily target proteins and modify amino acids in them. These modifications render the targeted proteins functionally inactive. Conversion of Asp to iso-Asp is one of the several known oxidant mediated amino acids modifications. By repairing iso-Asp to Asp, protein-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) maintains the activities of proteins and thus helps in cellular survival under oxidative stress. To elucidate the role of PIMT in ST survival under oxidative stress, we have constructed a pimt gene deletion strain (Δpimt strain) of ST. The Δpimt strain grows normally in various culture media in vitro. However, in comparison to wild type ST, the Δpimt strain is found significantly (p<0.001) more susceptible to H2O2 and hypochlorite (HOCl). Further, the Δpimt mutant strain shows hypersusceptibility (p<0.001) to INF-γ stimulated macrophages. This susceptibility is reversed by pharmacological inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) but not reactive nitrogen species (RNS) production. Further, plasmid based complementation enhances the survival of Δpimt mutant strain against oxidants in vitro and also inside the macrophages. In mice model, the LD50 for wild type ST and mutant Δpimt has been 1.73×10(4) and 1.38×10(5), respectively. Further, the mutant strain shows reduced dissemination to spleen and liver in mice. Following infection with a mixture of wild type ST and the Δpimt mutant (co-infection experiment), we recover significantly (p<0.001) less numbers of mutant bacteria from the spleen and liver of mice.

Pub.: 10 May '16, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Genetic background of enhanced radioresistance in an anhydrobiotic insect: transcriptional response to ionizing radiations and desiccation.

Abstract: It is assumed that resistance to ionizing radiation, as well as cross-resistance to other abiotic stresses, is a side effect of the evolutionary-based adaptation of anhydrobiotic animals to dehydration stress. Larvae of Polypedilum vanderplanki can withstand prolonged desiccation as well as high doses of ionizing radiation exposure. For a further understanding of the mechanisms of cross-tolerance to both types of stress exposure, we profiled genome-wide mRNA expression patterns using microarray techniques on the chironomid larvae collected at different stages of desiccation and after exposure to two types of ionizing radiation-70 Gy of high-linear energy transfer (LET) ions ((4)He) and the same dose of low-LET radiation (gamma rays). In expression profiles, a wide transcriptional response to desiccation stress that much exceeded the amount of up-regulated transcripts to irradiation exposure was observed. An extensive group of coincidently up-regulated overlapped transcripts in response to desiccation and ionizing radiation was found. Among this, overlapped set of transcripts was indicated anhydrobiosis-related genes: antioxidants, late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins, and heat-shock proteins. The most overexpressed group was that of protein-L-isoaspartate/D-aspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT), while probes, corresponding to LEA proteins, were the most represented. Performed functional analysis showed strongly enriched gene ontology terms associated with protein methylation. In addition, active processes of DNA repair were detected. We assume that the cross-tolerance of the sleeping chironomid to both desiccation and irradiation exposure comes from a complex mechanism of adaptation to anhydrobiosis.

Pub.: 04 Nov '16, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Rice PROTEIN l-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE isoforms differentially accumulate during seed maturation to restrict deleterious isoAsp and reactive oxygen species accumulation and are implicated in seed vigor and longevity.

Abstract: PROTEIN l-ISOASPARTYL O-METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT) is a protein-repairing enzyme involved in seed vigor and longevity. However, the regulation of PIMT isoforms during seed development and the mechanism of PIMT-mediated improvement of seed vigor and longevity are largely unknown. In this study in rice (Oryza sativa), we demonstrate the dynamics and correlation of isoaspartyl (isoAsp)-repairing demands and PIMT activity, and their implications, during seed development, germination and aging, through biochemical, molecular and genetic studies. Molecular and biochemical analyses revealed that rice possesses various biochemically active and inactive PIMT isoforms. Transcript and western blot analyses clearly showed the seed development stage and tissue-specific accumulation of active isoforms. Immunolocalization studies revealed distinct isoform expression in embryo and aleurone layers. Further analyses of transgenic lines for each OsPIMT isoform revealed a clear role in the restriction of deleterious isoAsp and age-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation to improve seed vigor and longevity. Collectively, our data suggest that a PIMT-mediated, protein repair mechanism is initiated during seed development in rice, with each isoform playing a distinct, yet coordinated, role. Our results also raise the intriguing possibility that PIMT repairs antioxidative enzymes and proteins which restrict ROS accumulation, lipid peroxidation, etc. in seed, particularly during aging, thus contributing to seed vigor and longevity.

Pub.: 19 Mar '16, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase1 (CaPIMT1) from chickpea mitigates oxidative stress-induced growth inhibition of Escherichia coli.

Abstract: PROTEIN L-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT) repairs deleterious L-isoaspartyl residues synthesized spontaneously in proteins due to aging or stressful environments and is widespread in living organisms including plants. Even though PIMT activity has been detected from various plant sources, detailed studies are limited to a few species. Our present study on a chickpea (Cicer arietinum) PIMT reveals that apart from seed, PIMT activity is present in other organs and noticeably enhanced during stressful conditions. Using degenerate oligonucleotides and RACE strategy, a full length cDNA (CaPIMT1) was cloned and sequenced. The cDNA is 920 bp in length and contains only one open reading frame of 690 bp encoding 229 amino acids. Genomic structure reveals that the CaPIMT1 gene spans about 2,050 bp in length and contains four exons and three introns. By quantitative real-time RT-PCR, we demonstrate that the transcript of CaPIMT1 is distributed across the organs with maximum levels in seed and is also enhanced under various environmental stress conditions. Purified bacterially expressed protein is further characterized for its catalytic properties. The activity is found to be elevated towards high temperature and pH conditions. Escherichia coli expressing CaPIMT1 show greater tolerance to oxidative stress than E. coli without CaPIMT1. Taken together, our results suggest that PIMT from chickpea shows a distinct pattern of expression and may have a specific role in stress adaptation apart from seed.

Pub.: 19 Nov '09, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

PROTEIN L-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE2 is differentially expressed in chickpea and enhances seed vigor and longevity by reducing abnormal isoaspartyl accumulation predominantly in seed nuclear proteins.

Abstract: PROTEIN l-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT) is a widely distributed protein-repairing enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of abnormal l-isoaspartyl residues in spontaneously damaged proteins to normal aspartyl residues. This enzyme is encoded by two divergent genes (PIMT1 and PIMT2) in plants, unlike many other organisms. While the biological role of PIMT1 has been elucidated, the role and significance of the PIMT2 gene in plants is not well defined. Here, we isolated the PIMT2 gene (CaPIMT2) from chickpea (Cicer arietinum), which exhibits a significant increase in isoaspartyl residues in seed proteins coupled with reduced germination vigor under artificial aging conditions. The CaPIMT2 gene is found to be highly divergent and encodes two possible isoforms (CaPIMT2 and CaPIMT2') differing by two amino acids in the region I catalytic domain through alternative splicing. Unlike CaPIMT1, both isoforms possess a unique 56-amino acid amino terminus and exhibit similar yet distinct enzymatic properties. Expression analysis revealed that CaPIMT2 is differentially regulated by stresses and abscisic acid. Confocal visualization of stably expressed green fluorescent protein-fused PIMT proteins and cell fractionation-immunoblot analysis revealed that apart from the plasma membrane, both CaPIMT2 isoforms localize predominantly in the nucleus, while CaPIMT1 localizes in the cytosol. Remarkably, CaPIMT2 enhances seed vigor and longevity by repairing abnormal isoaspartyl residues predominantly in nuclear proteins upon seed-specific expression in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), while CaPIMT1 enhances seed vigor and longevity by repairing such abnormal proteins mainly in the cytosolic fraction. Together, our data suggest that CaPIMT2 has most likely evolved through gene duplication, followed by subfunctionalization to specialize in repairing the nuclear proteome.

Pub.: 04 Jan '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

A second protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase gene in Arabidopsis produces two transcripts whose products are sequestered in the nucleus.

Abstract: The spontaneous and deleterious conversion of l-asparaginyl and l-aspartyl protein residues to l-iso-Asp or d-Asp occurs as proteins age and is accelerated under stressful conditions. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis L. Heynh.) contains two genes (At3g48330 and At5g50240) encoding protein-l-isoaspartate methyltransferase (EC; PIMT), an enzyme capable of correcting this damage. The gene located on chromosome 5 (PIMT2) produces two proteins differing by three amino acids through alternative 3' splice site selection in the first intron. Recombinant protein from both splicing variants has PIMT activity. Subcellular localization using cell fractionation followed by immunoblot detection, as well as confocal visualization of PIMT:GFP fusions, demonstrated that PIMT1 is cytosolic while a canonical nuclear localization signal, present in PIMT2psi and the shorter PIMT2omega, is functional. Multiplex reverse transcription-PCR was used to establish PIMT1 and PIMT2 transcript presence and abundance, relative to beta-TUBULIN, in various tissues and under a variety of stresses imposed on seeds and seedlings. PIMT1 transcript is constitutively present but can increase, along with PIMT2, in developing seeds presumably in response to increasing endogenous abscisic acid (ABA). Transcript from PIMT2 also increases in establishing seedlings due to exogenous ABA and applied stress presumably through an ABA-dependent pathway. Furthermore, cleaved amplified polymorphic sequences from PIMT2 amplicons determined that ABA preferentially enhances the production of PIMT2omega transcript in leaves and possibly in tissues other than germinating seeds.

Pub.: 07 Sep '04, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Protein repair L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase 1 is involved in both seed longevity and germination vigor in Arabidopsis.

Abstract: The formation of abnormal amino acid residues is a major source of spontaneous age-related protein damage in cells. The protein l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) combats protein misfolding resulting from l-isoaspartyl formation by catalyzing the conversion of abnormal l-isoaspartyl residues to their normal l-aspartyl forms. In this way, the PIMT repair enzyme system contributes to longevity and survival in bacterial and animal kingdoms. Despite the discovery of PIMT activity in plants two decades ago, the role of this enzyme during plant stress adaptation and in seed longevity remains undefined. In this work, we have isolated Arabidopsis thaliana lines exhibiting altered expression of PIMT1, one of the two genes encoding the PIMT enzyme in Arabidopsis. PIMT1 overaccumulation reduced the accumulation of l-isoaspartyl residues in seed proteins and increased both seed longevity and germination vigor. Conversely, reduced PIMT1 accumulation was associated with an increase in the accumulation of l-isoaspartyl residues in the proteome of freshly harvested dry mature seeds, thus leading to heightened sensitivity to aging treatments and loss of seed vigor under stressful germination conditions. These data implicate PIMT1 as a major endogenous factor that limits abnormal l-isoaspartyl accumulation in seed proteins, thereby improving seed traits such as longevity and vigor. The PIMT repair pathway likely works in concert with other anti-aging pathways to actively eliminate deleterious protein products, thus enabling successful seedling establishment and strengthening plant proliferation in natural environments.

Pub.: 18 Nov '08, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Overexpression of L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase in Escherichia coli increases heat shock survival by a mechanism independent of methyltransferase activity.

Abstract: Over time and under stressing conditions proteins are susceptible to a variety of spontaneous covalent modifications. One of the more commonly occurring types of protein damage is deamidation; the conversion of asparagines into aspartyls and isoaspartyls. The physiological significance of isoaspartyl formation is emphasized by the presence of the conserved enzyme L-isoaspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT), whose physiological function appears to be in preventing the accumulation of deamidated proteins. Seemingly consistent with a repair function, overexpression of PIMT in Drosophila melanogaster extends lifespan under conditions expected to contribute to protein damage. Based on structural information and sequence homology we have created mutants of residues proposed to be involved in co-factor binding in Escherichia coli PIMT. Both mutants retain S-adenosyl L-methionine binding capabilities but demonstrate dramatically reduced kinetic capabilities, perhaps suggestive of catalytic roles beyond co-factor binding. As anticipated, overexpression of the wild type enzyme in E. coli results in bacteria with increased tolerance to thermal stress. Surprisingly, even greater levels of heat tolerance were observed with overexpression of the inactive PIMT mutants. The increased survival capabilities observed with overexpression of PIMT in E. coli, and possibly in Drosophila, are not due to increased isoaspartyl repair capabilities but rather a temperature-independent induction of the heat shock system as a result of overexpression of a misfolding-prone protein. An alternate hypothesis as to the physiological substrate and function of L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase is proposed.

Pub.: 07 Oct '03, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Substrates of the Arabidopsis thaliana protein isoaspartyl methyltransferase 1 identified using phage display and biopanning.

Abstract: The role of protein isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) in repairing a wide assortment of damaged proteins in a host of organisms has been inferred from the affinity of the enzyme for isoaspartyl residues in a plethora of amino acid contexts. The identification of PIMT target proteins in plant seeds, where the enzyme is highly active and proteome long-lived, has been hindered by large amounts of isoaspartate-containing storage proteins. Mature seed phage display libraries circumvented this problem. Inclusion of the PIMT co-substrate, S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet), during panning permitted PIMT to retain aged phage in greater numbers than controls lacking co-substrate or when PIMT protein binding was poisoned with S-adenosyl homocysteine. After four rounds, phage titer plateaued in AdoMet-containing pans, whereas titer declined in both controls. This strategy identified 17 in-frame PIMT target proteins, including a cupin-family protein similar to those identified previously using on-blot methylation. All recovered phage had at least one susceptible Asp or Asn residue. Five targets were recovered independently. Two in-frame targets were produced in Escherichia coli as recombinant proteins and shown by on-blot methylation to acquire isoAsp, becoming a PIMT target. Both gained isoAsp rapidly in solution upon thermal insult. Mutant analysis of plants deficient in any of three in-frame PIMT targets resulted in demonstrable phenotypes. An over-representation of clones encoding proteins involved in protein production suggests that the translational apparatus comprises a subgroup for which PIMT-mediated repair is vital for orthodox seed longevity. Impaired PIMT activity would hinder protein function in these targets, possibly resulting in poor seed performance.

Pub.: 28 Sep '10, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Suppression of protein l-isoaspartyl (d-aspartyl) methyltransferase results in hyperactivation of EGF-stimulated MEK-ERK signaling in cultured mammalian cells.

Abstract: l-Aspartyl (l-Asp) and l-asparaginyl residues in proteins isomerize or racemize to d,l-isoaspartyl (d,l-isoAsp) or d-aspartyl (d-Asp) residues during protein aging. These atypical aspartyl residues can interfere with the biological function of the protein and lead to cellular dysfunction. Protein l-isoaspartyl (d-aspartyl) methyltransferase (PIMT) is a repair enzyme that facilitates conversion of l-isoAsp and d-Asp to l-Asp. PIMT deficient mice exhibit accumulation of l-isoAsp in several tissues and die, on average, 12 days after birth from progressive epileptic seizures with grand mal and myoclonus features. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which accumulation of the aberrant residues leads to cellular abnormalities. In this study, we established PIMT-knockdown cells using a short interfering RNA expression system and characterized the resultant molecular abnormalities in intracellular signaling pathways. PIMT-knockdown cells showed significant accumulation of proteins with isomerized residues, compared to control cells. In the PIMT-knockdown cells, Raf-1, MEK, and ERK, members of the MAPK cascade, were hyperphosphorylated after EGF stimulation compared to control cells. These results suggest that PIMT repair of abnormal proteins is necessary to maintain normal MAPK signaling.

Pub.: 03 Apr '08, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

Interconversion of the peptide isoforms of aspartate: stability of isoaspartates.

Abstract: A common modification of human long-lived proteins is spontaneous isomerisation of aspartate residues, and its biological importance can be inferred from the ubiquitous presence of protein isoaspartate methyl transferase (PIMT), that repairs this damage. Cyclisation of L-Asp residues yields four isomers: L-Asp, L-isoAsp, D-Asp and D-isoAsp, however little is known about their rate of formation or interconversion. This is important because PIMT is inactive towards D-isoAsp. Peptides containing the four Asp isoforms corresponding to a susceptible site (Asp 151) in the chaperone, αA-crystallin, were examined for their interconversion at pH 7. D-Asp formed from L-Asp readily, whereas L-isoAsp was not detected until significantly later. D-isoAsp formed very slowly, with just 1% present after 8 days at 60°C. These findings can be used to rationalise the substrate specificity of PIMT. In addition, both the D-isoAsp and L-isoAsp peptides were found to be remarkably stable, showing little conversion to other isomers, even after weeks of incubation. Therefore L-isoAsp and D-isoAsp appear to represent "terminal" stages of L-Asp modification. If PIMT is present, L-isoAsp may be reverted to L-Asp, however there appears to be no prospect of reversing D-isoAsp formation in aged proteins. Interestingly, Asp 151 in recombinant αA crystallin isomerised more rapidly than in the L-Asp peptide.

Pub.: 07 Feb '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

The role of protein L-isoaspartyl/D-aspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT) in intracellular signal transduction.

Abstract: Under physiological conditions, L-aspartyl (L-Asp) and L-asparaginyl residues in proteins are spontaneously isomerized or racemized to D-aspartyl (D-Asp) or D,L-isoaspartyl (D,L-isoAsp) residue. These atypical Asp residues can interfere with protein activity and lead to disruption of cellular function. Protein L-isoaspartyl/D-aspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is a repair enzyme that initiates the conversion of L-isoAsp (or D-Asp) residues to L-Asp residues. PIMT-Deficient mice exhibit accumulation of L-isoAsp in several tissues and die from progressive epileptic seizures at a mean age of 42 days. However, the biological roles of PIMT are still largely unknown. To further our understanding of the function of this protein, we developed an assay to measure PIMT activity in cell lysates. Additionally, we generated PIMT-knockdown cells by stable transfection of HEK293 cells with PIMT small interfering (si) RNA. Northern blotting and immunoblot analysis revealed that PIMT mRNA and protein levels were significantly decreased in the knockdown cells. In addition, significant levels of proteins that contained isoAsp residues accumulated in these cells, and immunoblot analysis revealed that Raf-1, MEK, and ERK were hyperphosphorylated upon EGF stimulation compared to control cells. These results indicate that the ability to repair atypical Asp residues is important for normal MAP kinase signaling.

Pub.: 22 Jun '10, Pinned: 06 Aug '17

An Arabidopsis ATP-dependent, DEAD-box RNA helicase loses activity upon IsoAsp formation but is restored by PROTEIN ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE.

Abstract: Orthodox seeds are capable of withstanding severe dehydration. However, in the dehydrated state, Asn and Asp residues in proteins can convert to succinimide residues that can further react to predominantly form isomerized isoAsp residues upon rehydration (imbibition). IsoAsp residues can impair protein function and can render seeds nonviable, but PROTEIN ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT) can initiate isoAsp conversion to Asp residues. The proteins necessary for translation upon imbibition in orthodox seeds may be particularly important to maintain in an active state. One such protein is the large, multidomain protein, Arabidopsis thaliana PLANT RNA HELICASE75 (PRH75), a DEAD-box helicase known to be susceptible to isoAsp residue accumulation. However, the consequences of such isomerization on PRH75 catalysis and for the plant are unknown. Here, it is demonstrated that PRH75 is necessary for successful seed development. It acquires isoAsp rapidly during heat stress, which eliminates RNA unwinding (but not rewinding) competence. The repair by PIMT is able to restore PRH75's complex biochemical activity provided isoAsp formation has not led to subsequent, destabilizing conformational alterations. For PRH75, an important enzymatic activity associated with translation would be eliminated unless rapidly repaired by PIMT prior to additional, deleterious conformational changes that would compromise seed vitality and germination.

Pub.: 02 Aug '13, Pinned: 06 Aug '17