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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Palmitoylation and membrane interactions of the neuroprotective chaperone cysteine-string protein

Greaves, Jennifer and Salaun, Christine and Fukata, Yuko and Fukata, Masaki and Chamberlain, Luke H (2008) Palmitoylation and membrane interactions of the neuroprotective chaperone cysteine-string protein. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283 (36). pp. 25014-25026. ISSN 1083-351X

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Abstract

Cysteine-string protein (CSP) is an extensively palmitoylated DnaJ-family chaperone, which exerts an important neuroprotective function. Palmitoylation is required for the intracellular sorting and function of CSP, and thus it is important to understand how this essential modification of CSP is regulated. Recent work identified 23 putative palmitoyl transferases containing a conserved DHHC domain in mammalian cells, and here we show that palmitoylation of CSP is enhanced specifically by co-expression of the Golgi-localized palmitoyl transferases DHHC3, DHHC7, DHHC15, or DHHC17. Indeed, these DHHC proteins promote stable membrane attachment of CSP, which is otherwise cytosolic. An inverse correlation was identified between membrane affinity of unpalmitoylated CSP mutants and subsequent palmitoylation: mutants with an increased membrane affinity localize to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and are physically separated from the Golgi-localized DHHC proteins. Palmitoylation of an ER-localized mutant could be rescued by brefeldin A treatment, which promotes the mixing of ER and Golgi membranes. Interestingly though, the palmitoylated mutant remained at the ER following brefeldin A washout and did not traffic to more distal membrane compartments. We propose that CSP has a weak membrane affinity that allows the protein to locate its partner Golgi-localized DHHC proteins directly by membrane "sampling." Mutations that enhance membrane association prevent sampling and lead to accumulation of CSP on cellular membranes such as the ER. The coupling of CSP palmitoylation to Golgi membranes may thus be an important requirement for subsequent sorting.