The following functions of protein carboxyl methylation seem to be reasonably well established: Multiple, stoichiometric methylation of chemotactic receptors in bacteria at glutamyl residues serves as one (but not the only) adaptation mechanism of the transduction chain to constant background levels of chemotactic stimuli. Stoichiometric methylation of hormones and hormone carrier proteins plays a role in hormone storage and secretion by the pituitary gland. Substoichiometric methylation at D-aspartyl residues is involved in a repair mechanism of aged proteins. Stoichiometric methylation of calmodulin modulates the sensitivity of calmodulin-dependent processes to calcium. Research of the past 3 years has indicated that in order to demonstrate an involvement of methylation in the coupling of surface receptors to intracellular events three new criteria have to be met: (a) the cell should possess a protein carboxyl methylase with relatively narrow substrate specificity; (b) methylation should take place at L-amino acid residues; (c) the methyl accepting proteins should be methylated in a stoichiometric fashion.