Protein Acetylation and Methylation

Caroline Evans

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Overview of Protein Acetylation and Methylation

Protein acetylation and methylation are post-translational modifications (PTMs) occurring predominantly on arginine (methylation) and lysine (acetylation and methylation) residues. Acetylation can also occur at the N-terminus and acts as multifunctional regulator including regulation of protein stability, via a specific degradation signal, termed the Ac/N-degron [1]. Originally considered epigenetic modifications that occurred mainly or exclusively on histones, it has become clear that acetylation and methylation also occur on a range of nonhistone proteins [2, 3] with modification rates that are subject to metabolic control [4]. As such these PTMs can be considered key regulatory events in cell function. Acetylation and methylation, as for other PTMs, can occur singly or in combination providing mechanisms for regulating protein activity through generating functional variants and regulatory sites. MS analysis of acetylation and methylation is directed not only to site identification and localization but also characterization of their combinations [5, 6].

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