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FEBS Lett. 2000 Jul 28;478(1-2):173-7.

Acylation of Galpha(13) is important for its interaction with thrombin receptor, transforming activity and actin stress fiber formation.

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Institut für Immunologie und Molekularbiologe, Freie Universität Berlin, Phillippstrasse 13, D-10115, Berlin, Germany.


Palmitoylation of alpha-subunits in heterotrimeric G proteins has become a research object of growing attention. Following our recent report on the acylation of the mono-palmitoylated Galpha(12) [Ponimaskin et al., FEBS Lett. 429 (1998) 370-374], we report here on the identification of three palmitoylation sites in the second member of the G(12) family, Galpha(13), and on the biological significance of fatty acids on the particular sites. Using mutants of alpha(13) in which the potentially palmitoylated cysteine residues (Cys) were replaced by serine residues, we find that Cys-14, Cys-18 and Cys-37 all serve as palmitoylation sites, and that the mutants lacking fatty acids are functionally defective. The following biological functions of Galpha(13) were found to be inhibited: coupling to the PAR1 thrombin receptor, cell transformation and actin stress fiber formation. Results from established assays for the above functions with a series of mutants, including derivatives of the constitutively active mutant Galpha(13)Q226L, revealed a graded inhibitory response on the above mentioned parameters. As a rule, it appears that palmitoylation of the N-proximal sites (e.g. Cys-14 and Cys-18) contributes more effectively to biological function than of the acylation site located more internally (Cys-37). However, the mutant with Cys-37 replaced by serine is more severely inhibited in stress fiber formation (80%) than in cell transformation (50%), pointing to the possibility of a differential involvement of the three palmitoylation sites in Galpha(13).

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