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Somatic cancer mutations in the DNMT2 tRNA methyltransferase alter its catalytic properties

Elhardt, Winfried, Shanmugam, Raghuvaran, Jurkowski, Tomasz P ORCID: and Jeltsch, Albert 2015. Somatic cancer mutations in the DNMT2 tRNA methyltransferase alter its catalytic properties. Biochimie 112 , 66—72. 10.1016/j.biochi.2015.02.022

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Methylation of tRNA is an important post-transcriptional modification and aberrations in tRNA modification has been implicated in cancer. The DNMT2 protein methylates C38 of tRNA-Asp and it has a role in cellular physiology and stress response and its expression levels are altered in cancer tissues. Here we studied whether DNMT2 somatic mutations found in cancer tissues affect the activity of the enzyme. We have generated 13 DNMT2 variants and purified the corresponding proteins. All proteins were properly folded as determined by circular dichroism spectroscopy. We tested their RNA methylation activity using in vitro generated tRNA-Asp. One of the mutations (E63K) caused a twofold increase in activity, while two of them led to a strong (over fourfold) decrease in activity (G155S and L257V). Two additional mutant proteins were almost inactive (R371H and G155V). The strong effect of some of the somatic cancer mutations on DNMT2 activity suggests that these mutations have a functional role in tumorigenesis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0300-9084
Date of Acceptance: 24 February 2015
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:08

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