Protein palmitoylation, a reversible lipid modification of proteins, is widely used in the nervous system, with dysregulated palmitoylation being implicated in a variety of neurological disorders. Described below is ABE/SILAM, a proteomic strategy that couples acyl-biotinyl exchange (ABE) purification of palmitoyl-proteins to whole animal stable isotope labeling (SILAM) to provide an accurate tracking of palmitoylation change within rodent disease models. As a first application, we have used ABE/SILAM to look at Huntington's disease (HD), profiling palmitoylation change in two HD-relevant mouse mutants: the transgenic HD model mouse YAC128 and the hypomorphic Hip14-gt mouse, which has sharply reduced expression for HIP14 (Zdhhc17), a palmitoyl-transferase implicated in the HD disease process. Rather than mapping to the degenerating neurons themselves, the biggest disease changes instead map to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (i.e., the supporting glial cells).
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