Palmitoylation is an important post-translational lipid modification of proteins. Unlike prenylation and myristoylation, palmitoylation is a reversible covalent modification, allowing for dynamic regulation of multiple complex cellular systems. However, in vivo or in vitro identification of palmitoylation sites is usually time-consuming and labor-intensive. So in silico predictions could help to narrow down the possible palmitoylation sites, which can be used to guide further experimental design. Previous studies suggested that there is no unique canonical motif for palmitoylation sites, so we hypothesize that the bona fide pattern might be compromised by heterogeneity of multiple structural determinants with different features. Based on this hypothesis, we partition the known palmitoylation sites into three clusters and score the similarity between the query peptide and the training ones based on BLOSUM62 matrix. We have implemented a computer program for palmitoylation site prediction, Clustering and Scoring Strategy for Palmitoylation Sites Prediction (CSS-Palm) system, and found that the program's prediction performance is encouraging with highly positive Jack-Knife validation results (sensitivity 82.16% and specificity 83.17% for cut-off score 2.6). Our analyses indicate that CSS-Palm could provide a powerful and effective tool to studies of palmitoylation sites.
Availability: CSS-Palm is implemented in PHP/PERL+MySQL and can be freely accessed at http://bioinformatics.lcd-ustc.org/css_palm/
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bionformatics online.