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Unexpected protein families including cell defense components feature in the N-myristoylome of a higher eukaryote.

Boisson B., Giglione C., Meinnel T.

N-Myristoylation is an irreversible modification that affects the membrane binding properties of crucial cytoplasmic proteins from signal transduction cascades. We characterized the two putative N-myristoyltransferases of Arabidopsis thaliana as a means of investigating the entire N-myristoylation proteome (N-myristoylome) in a higher eukaryote. AtNMT1 compensated for the nmt1 defect in yeast, whereas AtNMT2 and chimeras of the two genes did not. Only AtNMT1 modified known N-myristoylated proteins in vitro. AtNMT1 is therefore responsible for the A. thaliana N-myristoylome, whereas AtNMT2 does not seem to have usual myristoylation activity. We began with the whole set of N-myristoylated G proteins in the A. thaliana proteome. We then used a reiterative approach, based on the in vitro N-myristoylation of more than 60 different polypeptides, to determine the substrate specificity of AtNMT1. We found that the positive charge on residue 7 of the substrate was particularly important in substrate recognition. The A. thaliana N-myristoylome consists of 437 proteins, accounting for 1.7% of the complete proteome. We demonstrated the N-myristoylation of several unexpected protein families, including innate immunity proteins, thioredoxins, components of the protein degradation pathway, transcription factors, and a crucial regulatory enzyme of glycolysis. The role of N-myristoylation is discussed in each case; in particular, this process may underlie the "guard" hypothesis of innate immunity.

J. Biol. Chem. 278:43418-43429(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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