Specific Enzymic Methylation of an Arginine in the Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis Protein from Human Myelin

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Science  12 Feb 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3971, pp. 579-581
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3971.579


A cytoplasmic enzyme from guinea pig brain was shown to transfer methyl groups from S-adenosylmethionine to only one of 19 arginine residues in the basic protein from human brain. The products were ω-N-monomethylarginine and ω-N,N'-dimethylarginine. These methylated arginines are adjacent to the main encephalitogenic determinant in the protein. Methylation may aid in the transfer of this region of the protein into the nonpolar environment within myelin and in maintaining the integrity of myelin.