DHHC5-mediated palmitoylation of S1P receptor subtype 1 determines G-protein coupling

Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 29;7(1):16552. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16457-4.


Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a pleiotropic lipid mediator involved in the regulation of immune cell trafficking and vascular permeability acting mainly through G-protein-coupled S1P receptors (S1PRs). However, mechanism underlying how S1PRs are coupled with G-proteins remains unknown. Here we have uncovered that palmitoylation of a prototypical subtype S1P1R is prerequisite for subsequent inhibitory G-protein (Gi) coupling. We have identified DHHC5 as an enzyme for palmitoylation of S1P1R. Under basal conditions, S1P1R was functionally associated with DHHC5 in the plasma membranes (PM) and was fully palmitoylated, enabling Gi coupling. Upon stimulation, the receptor underwent internalisation leaving DHHC5 in PM, resulting in depalmitoylation of S1P1R. We also revealed that while physiological agonist S1P-induced endocytosed S1P1R readily recycled back to PM, pharmacological FTY720-P-induced endocytosed S1P1R-positive vesicles became associated with DHHC5 in the later phase, persistently transmitting Gi signals there. This indicates that FTY720-P switches off the S1P signal in PM, while switching on its signal continuously inside the cells. We propose that DHHC5-mediated palmitoylation of S1P1R determines Gi coupling and its signalling in a spatio/temporal manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Endocytosis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lipoylation
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Organophosphates / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sphingosine / metabolism
  • Sphingosine / pharmacology


  • FTY 720P
  • Lysophospholipids
  • Organophosphates
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Acyltransferases
  • ZDHHC5 protein, human
  • Sphingosine