Proteomic analysis of S-acylated proteins in human B cells reveals palmitoylation of the immune regulators CD20 and CD23

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37187. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037187. Epub 2012 May 17.


S-palmitoylation is a reversible post-translational modification important for controlling the membrane targeting and function of numerous membrane proteins with diverse roles in signalling, scaffolding, and trafficking. We sought to identify novel palmitoylated proteins in B lymphocytes using acyl-biotin exchange chemistry, coupled with differential analysis by liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. In total, we identified 57 novel palmitoylated protein candidates from human EBV-transformed lymphoid cells. Two of them, namely CD20 and CD23 (low affinity immunoglobulin epsilon Fc receptor), are immune regulators that are effective/potential therapeutic targets for haematological malignancies, autoimmune diseases and allergic disorders. Palmitoylation of CD20 and CD23 was confirmed by heterologous expression of alanine mutants coupled with bioorthogonal metabolic labeling. This study demonstrates a new subset of palmitoylated proteins in B cells, illustrating the ubiquitous role of protein palmitoylation in immune regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD20 / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Lipoylation*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Receptors, IgE / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD20
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Receptors, IgE
  • 17-octadecynoic acid