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We have characterized the posttranslational methylation of Rps2, Rps3, and Rps27a, three small ribosomal subunit proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using mass spectrometry and amino acid analysis. We found that Rps2 is substoichiometrically modified at arginine-10 by the Rmt1 methyltransferase. We demonstrated that Rps3 is stoichiometrically modified by ω- monomethylation at arginine-146 by mass spectrometric and site-directed mutagenic analyses. Substitution of alanine for arginine at position 146 is associated with slow cell growth, suggesting that the amino acid identity at this site may influence ribosomal function and/or biogenesis. Analysis of the three-dimensional structure of Rps3 in S. cerevisiae shows that arginine-146 makes contacts with the small subunit rRNA. Screening of deletion mutants encoding potential yeast methyltransferases revealed that the loss of the YOR021C gene results in the absence of methylation of Rps3. We demonstrated that recombinant Yor021c catalyzes ω-monomethylarginine formation when incubated with S-adenosylmethionine and hypomethylated ribosomes prepared from a YOR021C deletion strain. Interestingly, Yor021c belongs to the family of SPOUT methyltransferases that, to date, have only been shown to modify RNA substrates. Our findings suggest a wider role for SPOUT methyltransferases in nature. Finally, we have demonstrated the presence of a stoichiometrically methylated cysteine residue at position 39 of Rps27a in a zinc-cysteine cluster. The discovery of these three novel sites of protein modification within the small ribosomal subunit will now allow for an analysis of their functional roles in translation and possibly other cellular processes. © 2012 American Chemical Society.