Accumulation of the homocysteine (Hcy) precursor S-adenosylhomocysteine (AdoHcy) may cause cellular hypomethylation in the setting of hyperhomocysteinemia because of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) deficiency, an inborn error of metabolism. To test this hypothesis, DNA and protein arginine methylation status were assessed in liver, brain, heart, and kidney obtained from a previously described mouse model of CBS deficiency. Metabolite levels in tissues and serum were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography or liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. Global DNA and protein arginine methylation status were evaluated as the contents of 5-methyldeoxycytidine in DNA and of methylarginines in proteins, respectively. In addition, histone arginine methylation was assessed by Western blotting. CBS-deficient mice exhibited increased (>6-fold) Hcy and AdoHcy levels in all tissues examined compared with control levels. In addition, global DNA methylation status was not affected, but global protein arginine methylation status was decreased (10-35%) in liver and brain. Moreover, asymmetric dimethylation of arginine 3 on histone H4 (H4R3me2a) content was markedly decreased in liver, and no differences were observed for the other histone arginine methylation marks examined. Our results show that CBS-deficient mice present severe accumulation of tissue Hcy and AdoHcy, protein arginine hypomethylation in liver and brain, and decreased H4R3me2a content in liver. Therefore, protein arginine hypomethylation arises as a potential player in the pathophysiology of CBS deficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology