Molecular basis of fatty acid selectivity in the zDHHC family of S-acyltransferases revealed by click chemistry

Greaves, Jennifer and Munro, Kevin R. and Davidson, Stuart C. and Riviere, Matthieu and Wojno, Justyna and Smith, Terry K. and Tomkinson, Nicholas C.O. and Chamberlain, Luke H. (2017) Molecular basis of fatty acid selectivity in the zDHHC family of S-acyltransferases revealed by click chemistry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (8). E1365-E1374. ISSN 1091-6490 (

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S-Acylation is a major post-translational modification, catalysed by the zDHHC enzyme family. S-acylated proteins can be modified by different fatty acids; however, very little is known about how zDHHC enzymes contribute to acyl chain heterogeneity. Here, we employed fatty acid azide/alkyne labelling of mammalian cells, showing their transformation into acyl-CoAs and subsequent click chemistry-based detection, to demonstrate that zDHHC enzymes have marked differences in their fatty acid selectivity. This was apparent even for highly related enzymes such as zDHHC3 and zDHHC7, which displayed a marked difference in ability to use C18:0 acyl CoA as a substrate. Furthermore, we identified Isoleucine-182 in the third transmembrane domain of zDHHC3 as a key determinant limiting the use of longer chain acyl-CoAs by this enzyme. This is the first study to uncover differences in the fatty acid selectivity profiles of cellular zDHHC enzymes and to map molecular determinants governing this selectivity


Greaves, Jennifer ORCID logoORCID:, Munro, Kevin R. ORCID logoORCID:, Davidson, Stuart C. ORCID logoORCID:, Riviere, Matthieu, Wojno, Justyna, Smith, Terry K., Tomkinson, Nicholas C.O. ORCID logoORCID: and Chamberlain, Luke H. ORCID logoORCID:;