1. Protein S-palmitoylation in immunity
Tandrila Das, Jacob S Yount, Howard C Hang Open Biol. 2021 Mar;11(3):200411. doi: 10.1098/rsob.200411. Epub 2021 Mar 3.
S-palmitoylation is a reversible posttranslational lipid modification of proteins. It controls protein activity, stability, trafficking and protein-protein interactions. Recent global profiling of immune cells and targeted analysis have identified many S-palmitoylated immunity-associated proteins. Here, we review S-palmitoylated immune receptors and effectors, and their dynamic regulation at cellular membranes to generate specific and balanced immune responses. We also highlight how this understanding can drive therapeutic advances to pharmacologically modulate immune responses.
2. Protein palmitoylation and cancer
Pin-Joe Ko, Scott J Dixon EMBO Rep. 2018 Oct;19(10):e46666. doi: 10.15252/embr.201846666. Epub 2018 Sep 19.
Protein S-palmitoylation is a reversible post-translational modification that alters the localization, stability, and function of hundreds of proteins in the cell. S-palmitoylation is essential for the function of both oncogenes (e.g., NRAS and EGFR) and tumor suppressors (e.g., SCRIB, melanocortin 1 receptor). In mammalian cells, the thioesterification of palmitate to internal cysteine residues is catalyzed by 23 Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHC)-family palmitoyl S-acyltransferases while the removal of palmitate is catalyzed by serine hydrolases, including acyl-protein thioesterases (APTs). These enzymes modulate the function of important oncogenes and tumor suppressors and often display altered expression patterns in cancer. Targeting S-palmitoylation or the enzymes responsible for palmitoylation dynamics may therefore represent a candidate therapeutic strategy for certain cancers.
3. ZDHHC18 negatively regulates cGAS-mediated innate immunity through palmitoylation
Chengrui Shi, Xikang Yang, Ye Liu, Hongpeng Li, Huiying Chu, Guohui Li, Hang Yin EMBO J. 2022 Jun 1;41(11):e109272. doi: 10.15252/embj.2021109272. Epub 2022 Apr 19.
Double-stranded DNA is recognized as a danger signal by cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate synthase (cGAS), triggering innate immune responses. Palmitoylation is an important post-translational modification (PTM) catalyzed by DHHC-palmitoyl transferases, which participate in the regulation of diverse biological processes. However, whether palmitoylation regulates cGAS function has not yet been explored. Here, we found that palmitoylation of cGAS at C474 restricted its enzymatic activity in the presence of double-stranded DNA. cGAS palmitoylation was catalyzed mainly by the palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC18 and double-stranded DNA promoted this modification. Mechanistically, palmitoylation of cGAS reduced the interaction between cGAS and double-stranded DNA, further inhibiting cGAS dimerization. Consistently, ZDHHC18 negatively regulated cGAS activation in human and mouse cell lines. In a more biologically relevant model system, Zdhhc18-deficient mice were found to be resistant to infection by DNA viruses, in agreement with the observation that ZDHHC18 negatively regulated cGAS mediated innate immune responses in human and mouse primary cells. In summary, the negative role of ZDHHC18-mediated cGAS palmitoylation may be a novel regulatory mechanism in the fine-tuning of innate immunity.