Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Joan M. Hevel


Joan M. Hevel


Sean J. Johnson


Nicholas E. Dickenson


If you imagined a living cell as a factory, enzymes would be the workers with each individually performing a very specific and important job. If a job is not done correctly it could be detrimental to the performance of assembly lines and devastate a businesses’ existence. For enzymes, their jobs occur on a biological level by catalyzing reactions inside the cell, which can include altering another protein and the pathway it is involved in. Protein arginine methyltransferases, or PRMTs, is an example of an enzyme that modifies protein substrates. It does this by adding one or two methyl groups onto an arginine within a target proteins structure, which can alter the proteins function in a cell. This may include turning the substrate protein’s activity on or off, preventing or increasing interactions with other proteins, or altering the protein’s location in the cell.

Methylation performed by PRMTs in a cell influences critical cell processes such as DNA repair, transcriptional regulation, and RNA processing. Since PRMTs are integrated in many cell functions, it is not surprising that the malfunction of this enzyme can cause health issues such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. This means PRMTs are a suitable therapeutic target for treating diseased states, however further investigation of their mechanisms of function is required.



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