Palmitoylation: policing protein stability and traffic

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Jan;8(1):74-84. doi: 10.1038/nrm2084.


Palmitate modifies both peripheral and integral membrane proteins and its addition can be permanent or transient, which makes it unique among the lipid modifications of proteins. The presence of palmitate on a protein affects how the protein interacts with lipids and proteins in a membrane compartment, and the reversibility of palmitoylation allows different modes of trafficking between membrane compartments. Here, we review recent studies that have provided insights into the mechanisms that mediate the functional consequences of this versatile modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Palmitic Acid / chemistry
  • Palmitic Acid / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Thermodynamics


  • Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Palmitic Acid