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J Biol Chem. 1999 Dec 31;274(53):38260-7.

Palmitoylation of a conserved cysteine in the regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) domain modulates the GTPase-activating activity of RGS4 and RGS10.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9041, USA.


RGS4 and RGS10 expressed in Sf9 cells are palmitoylated at a conserved Cys residue (Cys(95) in RGS4, Cys(66) in RGS10) in the regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) domain that is also autopalmitoylated when the purified proteins are incubated with palmitoyl-CoA. RGS4 also autopalmitoylates at a previously identified cellular palmitoylation site, either Cys(2) or Cys(12). The C2A/C12A mutation essentially eliminates both autopalmitoylation and cellular [(3)H]palmitate labeling of Cys(95). Membrane-bound RGS4 is palmitoylated both at Cys(95) and Cys(2/12), but cytosolic RGS4 is not palmitoylated. RGS4 and RGS10 are GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) for the G(i) and G(q) families of G proteins. Palmitoylation of Cys(95) on RGS4 or Cys(66) on RGS10 inhibits GAP activity 80-100% toward either Galpha(i) or Galpha(z) in a single-turnover, solution-based assay. In contrast, when GAP activity was assayed as acceleration of steady-state GTPase in receptor-G protein proteoliposomes, palmitoylation of RGS10 potentiated GAP activity >/=20-fold. Palmitoylation near the N terminus of C95V RGS4 did not alter GAP activity toward soluble Galpha(z) and increased G(z) GAP activity about 2-fold in the vesicle-based assay. Dual palmitoylation of wild-type RGS4 remained inhibitory. RGS protein palmitoylation is thus multi-site, complex in its control, and either inhibitory or stimulatory depending on the RGS protein and its sites of palmitoylation.

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