Knockout of the Hmt1p arginine methyltransferase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae leads to the dysregulation of phosphate-associated genes and processes

Samantha Z. Chia, Yu Wen Lai, Daniel Yagoub, Sophie Lev, Joshua J. Hamey, Chi Nam Ignatius Pang, Desmarini Desmarini, Zhiliang Chen, Julianne T. Djordjevic, Melissa A. Erce, Gene Hart-Smith, Marc R. Wilkins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Hmt1p is the predominant arginine methyltransferase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its substrate proteins are involved in transcription, transcriptional regulation, nucleocytoplasmic transport and RNA splicing. Hmt1p-catalyzed methylation can also modulate protein-protein interactions. Hmt1p is conserved from unicellular eukaryotes through to mammals where its ortholog, PRMT1, is lethal upon knockout. In yeast, however, the effect of knockout on the transcriptome and proteome has not been described. Transcriptome analysis revealed downregulation of phosphate-responsive genes in hmt1Δ, including acid phosphatases PHO5, PHO11, and PHO12, phosphate transporters PHO84 and PHO89 and the vacuolar transporter chaperone VTC3. Analysis of the hmt1Δ proteome revealed decreased abundance of phosphate-associated proteins including phosphate transporter Pho84p, vacuolar alkaline phosphatase Pho8p, acid phosphatase Pho3p and subunits of the vacuolar transporter chaperone complex Vtc1p, Vtc3p and Vtc4p. Consistent with this, phosphate homeostasis was dysregulated in hmt1Δ cells, showing decreased extracellular phosphatase levels and decreased total P i in phosphate-depleted medium. In vitro, we showed that transcription factor Pho4p can be methylated at Arg-241, which could explain phosphate dysregulation in hmt1Δ if interplay exists with phosphorylation at Ser-242 or Ser-243, or if Arg-241 methylation affects the capacity of Pho4p to homodimerize or interact with Pho2p. However, the Arg-241 methylation site was not validated in vivo and the localization of a Pho4p-GFP fusion in hmt1Δ was not different from wild type. To our knowledge, this is the first study to reveal an association between Hmt1p and phosphate homeostasis and one which suggests a regulatory link between S-adenosyl methionine and intracellular phosphate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2462-2479
Number of pages19
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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