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The Journal of Biological Chemistry 283, 7 (2007) 3915-3922
Polyglutamylation is a posttranslational modification with a broad range of substrates.
Juliette Van Dijk1, Julie Miro1, Jean-Marc Strub2, Benjamin Lacroix1, Alain Van Dorsselaer2, Bernard Edde1, Carsten Janke1

Polyglutamylation is a posttranslational modification that generates lateral acidic side chains on proteins by sequential addition of glutamate amino acids. This modification was first discovered on tubulins and it is important for several microtubule functions. Besides tubulins, only the nucleosome assembly proteins NAP1 and NAP2 have been shown to be polyglutamylated. Here, using a proteomic approach, we identify a large number of putative substrates for polyglutamylation in HeLa cells. By analyzing a selection of these putative substrates, we show that several of them can serve as in vitro substrates for two of the recently discovered polyglutamylases, TTLL4 and TTLL5. We further show that TTLL4 is the main polyglutamylase enzyme present in HeLa cells and that new substrates of polyglutamylation are indeed modified by TTLL4 in a cellular context. No clear consensus polyglutamylation site could be defined from the primary sequence of the here-identified new substrates of polyglutamylation. However, we demonstrate that glutamate-rich stretches are important for a protein to become polyglutamylated. Most of the newly identified substrates of polyglutamylation are nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling proteins, including many chromatin binding proteins. Our work reveals that polyglutamylation is a much more widespread posttranslational modification than initially thought and thus that it might be a regulator of many cellular processes.
1 :  CRBM - Centre de recherches de biochimie macromoléculaire
2 :  IPHC - Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien
Sciences du Vivant/Biochimie, Biologie Moléculaire
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