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Nat Chem Biol. 2016 Sep;12(9):686-93. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2119. Epub 2016 Jul 4.

ZDHHC7-mediated S-palmitoylation of Scribble regulates cell polarity.

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Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA.


Scribble (SCRIB) is a tumor-suppressor protein, playing critical roles in establishing and maintaining epithelial cell polarity. SCRIB is frequently amplified in human cancers but does not localize properly to cell-cell junctions, suggesting that mislocalization of SCRIB disrupts its tumor-suppressive activities. Using chemical reporters, here we showed that SCRIB localization was regulated by S-palmitoylation at conserved cysteine residues. Palmitoylation-deficient mutants of SCRIB were mislocalized, leading to disruption of cell polarity and loss of their tumor-suppressive activities to oncogenic YAP, MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways. We further found that ZDHHC7 was the major palmitoyl acyltransferase regulating SCRIB. Knockout of ZDHHC7 led to SCRIB mislocalization and YAP activation, and disruption of SCRIB's suppressive activities in HRas(V12)-induced cell invasion. In summary, we demonstrated that ZDHHC7-mediated SCRIB palmitoylation is critical for SCRIB membrane targeting, cell polarity and tumor suppression, providing new mechanistic insights of how dynamic protein palmitoylation regulates cell polarity and tumorigenesis.

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