Dietary unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid, have been shown to be covalently incorporated into a small subset of proteins, but the generality and diversity of this protein modification has not been studied. We synthesized unsaturated fatty-acid chemical reporters and determined their protein targets in mammalian cells. The reporters can induce the formation of lipid droplets and be incorporated site-specifically onto known fatty-acylated proteins and label many proteins in mammalian cells. Quantitative proteomics analysis revealed that unsaturated fatty acids modify similar protein targets to saturated fatty acids, including several immunity-associated proteins. This demonstrates that unsaturated fatty acids can directly modify many proteins to exert their unique and often beneficial physiological effects in vivo.
Keywords: chemical reporter; fatty acids; fatty-acylation; fluorescent probes; quantitative proteomics; unsaturated fatty acids.
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