The on-off story of protein palmitoylation

Trends Cell Biol. 2003 Jan;13(1):32-42. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(02)00008-9.


Palmitoylation is one of the most frequent post-translational modifications found on proteins. It contributes to membrane association, protein sorting and many other processes. Through its reversibility, palmitoylation also provides mechanisms to regulate the functional activities of integral and peripheral membrane proteins. Here we discuss evidence that proteins can be palmitoylated at different locations in the cell, how targeting to these locations might be directed, and aspects of the proposed functions of palmitoylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence / physiology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Palmitates / chemistry
  • Palmitates / metabolism*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Palmitates
  • Proteins