S-acylation, also known as palmitoylation, is the reversible post-translational addition of fatty acids to proteins. Historically thought primarily to be a means for anchoring otherwise soluble proteins to membranes, evidence now suggests that reversible S-acylation may be an important dynamic regulatory mechanism. Importantly S-acylation affects the function of many integral membrane proteins, making it an important factor to consider in understanding processes such as cell wall synthesis, membrane trafficking, signalling across membranes and regulating ion, hormone and metabolite transport through membranes. This review summarises the latest thoughts, ideas and findings in the field as well discussing future research directions to gain a better understanding of the role of this enigmatic regulatory protein modification.
Keywords: Lipidation; S-acylation; membrane; microdomain; palmitoylation; post-translational.
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