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J Cell Biol. 2010 Dec 27;191(7):1229-38. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201008160.

The intracellular dynamic of protein palmitoylation.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U845, Faculte de Medecine Paris Descartes, 75730 Paris, Cedex 15, France.


S-palmitoylation describes the reversible attachment of fatty acids (predominantly palmitate) onto cysteine residues via a labile thioester bond. This posttranslational modification impacts protein functionality by regulating membrane interactions, intracellular sorting, stability, and membrane micropatterning. Several recent findings have provided a tantalizing insight into the regulation and spatiotemporal dynamics of protein palmitoylation. In mammalian cells, the Golgi has emerged as a possible super-reaction center for the palmitoylation of peripheral membrane proteins, whereas palmitoylation reactions on post-Golgi compartments contribute to the regulation of specific substrates. In addition to palmitoylating and depalmitoylating enzymes, intracellular palmitoylation dynamics may also be controlled through interplay with distinct posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation and nitrosylation.

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