Published on Oct. 1, 2002 in J Mol Evol volume 55.
PubMed ID: 12355263
MT-A70 is the S-adenosylmethionine-binding subunit of human mRNA:m(6)A methyl-transferase (MTase), an enzyme that sequence-specifically methylates adenines in pre-mRNAs. The physiological importance yet limited understanding of MT-A70 and its apparent lack of similarity to other known RNA MTases combined to make this protein an attractive target for bioinformatic analysis. The sequence of MT-A70 was subjected to extensive in silico analysis to identify orthologous and paralogous polypeptides. This analysis revealed that the MT-A70 family comprises four subfamilies with varying degrees of interrelatedness. One subfamily is a small group of bacterial DNA:m(6)A MTases. The other three subfamilies are paralogous eukaryotic lineages, two of which have not been associated with MTase activity but include proteins having substantial regulatory effects. Multiple sequence alignments and structure prediction for members of all four subfamilies indicated a high probability that a consensus MTase fold domain is present. Significantly, this consensus fold shows the permuted topology characteristic of the b class of MTases, which to date has only been known to include DNA MTases.