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J Biol Chem. 1989 May 5;264(13):7564-9.

Palmitoylation of the human beta 2-adrenergic receptor. Mutation of Cys341 in the carboxyl tail leads to an uncoupled nonpalmitoylated form of the receptor.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratories, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


We report that a cysteine residue in the human beta 2-adrenergic receptor (beta 2AR) is covalently modified by thioesterification with palmitic acid. By site-directed mutagenesis of the receptor, we have identified Cys341 in the carboxyl tail of the protein as the most likely site of palmitoylation. Mutation of Cys341 to glycine results in a nonpalmitoylated form of the receptor that exhibits a drastically reduced ability to mediate isoproterenol stimulation of adenylyl cyclase. The functional impairment of this mutated beta 2AR is also reflected in a markedly reduced ability to form a guanyl nucleotide-sensitive high affinity state for agonists, characteristic of wild-type receptor. These results indicate that post-translational modification by palmitate of beta 2AR may play a crucial role in the normal coupling of the receptor to the adenylyl cyclase signal transduction system.

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