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J Clin Invest. 1988 Nov;82(5):1479-88.

Acylation of monocyte and glomerular mesangial cell proteins. Myristyl acylation of the interleukin 1 precursors.

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Medical Service, Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Center-University of Washington 98108.


Acylation of cellular proteins with the fatty acids myristate or palmitate represents an important mechanism for the co- or posttranslational modification of proteins. Lipid A, the biologically active component of bacterial endotoxin, exerts a number of biochemical effects on responsive cell types. Evidence is presented that lipid A stimulates the synthesis and subsequent myristyl acylation of intracellular monocyte and glomerular mesangial cell proteins. Two of the myristylated monocyte proteins were identified by specific immunoprecipitation as the 33-kD IL 1 alpha and beta precursors; a similar myristylated protein was found in mesangial cells. The 17-kD secretory form of monocyte IL 1 beta did not contain covalently linked myristate. Myristyl acylation of the IL 1 precursor proteins may facilitate the processing or membrane localization of these proteins, which lack characteristic hydrophobic signal sequences. The acylated 33-kD IL 1 alpha may remain preferentially associated with the membrane in an active form, whereas limited proteolysis may convert the biologically inactive IL 1 beta precursor into the extracellular, nonacylated, active 17-kD protein.

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