Systematic screening for palmitoyl transferase activity of the DHHC protein family in mammalian cells

Methods. 2006 Oct;40(2):177-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2006.05.015.


Posttranslational modifications, including phosphorylation, ubiquitination and lipid modifications, provide proteins with additional functions and regulation beyond genomic information. Palmitoylation is a reversible lipid modification with palmitic acid that plays critical roles in protein trafficking and function. However, the enzymes that mediate palmitoyl acyl transferase (PAT) have been elusive. Recent genetic analysis in yeast revealed that members of cysteine-rich DHHC domain containing proteins (DHHC proteins) mediate palmitoylation. In mammalian genomes, 23 DHHC proteins are predicted raising the possibility of a large family of PAT enzymes. Here, we describe a systematic method to examine which of the DHHC family members is responsible for palmitoylation of a substrate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Acyltransferases / analysis*
  • Acyltransferases / physiology
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Humans
  • Palmitic Acid / metabolism*


  • Palmitic Acid
  • Acyltransferases