Beta class amino methyltransferases from bacteria to humans: evolution and structural consequences Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Woodcock, Clayton B; Horton, John R; Zhang, Xing; Blumenthal, Robert M; Cheng, Xiaodong


  • S-adenosyl-l-methionine dependent methyltransferases catalyze methyl transfers onto a wide variety of target molecules, including DNA and RNA. We discuss a family of methyltransferases, those that act on the amino groups of adenine or cytosine in DNA, have conserved motifs in a particular order in their amino acid sequence, and are referred to as class beta MTases. Members of this class include M.EcoGII and M.EcoP15I from Escherichia coli, Caulobacter crescentus cell cycle-regulated DNA methyltransferase (CcrM), the MTA1-MTA9 complex from the ciliate Oxytricha, and the mammalian MettL3-MettL14 complex. These methyltransferases all generate N6-methyladenine in DNA, with some members having activity on single-stranded DNA as well as RNA. The beta class of methyltransferases has a unique multimeric feature, forming either homo- or hetero-dimers, allowing the enzyme to use division of labor between two subunits in terms of substrate recognition and methylation. We suggest that M.EcoGII may represent an ancestral form of these enzymes, as its activity is independent of the nucleic acid type (RNA or DNA), its strandedness (single or double), and its sequence (aside from the target adenine).

publication date

  • 2020

published in

start page

  • 10034

end page

  • 10044


  • 48