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Post-translational methylation of proteins, which occurs in arginines and lysines, modulates several biological processes at different levels of cell signaling. Recently, methylation has been demonstrated in the regulation beyond histones, for example, in the dynamics of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. However, the presence and role of non-histone methylation in Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, has not yet been elucidated. Here, we applied mass spectrometry-based-proteomics (LC-MS/MS) to profile the methylproteome of T. cruzi epimastigotes, describing a total of 1252 methyl sites in 824 proteins. Functional enrichment and protein-protein interaction analysis show that protein methylation impacts important biological processes of the parasite, such as translation, RNA and DNA binding, amino acid, and carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, 171 of the methylated proteins were previously reported to bear phosphorylation sites in T. cruzi, including flagellar proteins and RNA binding proteins, indicating that there may be an interplay between these different modifications in non-histone proteins. Our results show that a broad spectrum of functions is affected by methylation in T. cruzi, indicating its potential to impact important processes in the biology of the parasite and other trypanosomes. © 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


Rafael Fogaça de Almeida, Aline Castro Rodrigues Lucena, Michel Batista, Fabricio Klerynton Marchini, Lyris Martins Franco de Godoy. Non-histone protein methylation in Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes. Proteomics. 2023 Aug;23(16):e2200230

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PMID: 37183273

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