Acute Regulation of Habituation Learning via Posttranslational Palmitoylation

Curr Biol. 2020 Jul 20;30(14):2729-2738.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.016. Epub 2020 Jun 4.


Habituation is an adaptive learning process that enables animals to adjust innate behaviors to changes in their environment. Despite its well-documented implications for a wide diversity of behaviors, the molecular and cellular basis of habituation learning is not well understood. Using whole-genome sequencing of zebrafish mutants isolated in an unbiased genetic screen, we identified the palmitoyltransferase Huntingtin interacting protein 14 (Hip14) as a critical regulator of habituation learning. We demonstrate that Hip14 regulates depression of sensory inputs onto an identified hindbrain neuron and provide evidence that Hip14 palmitoylates the Shaker-like K+ voltage-gated channel subunit (Kv1.1), thereby regulating Kv1.1 subcellular localization. Furthermore, we show that, like for Hip14, loss of Kv1.1 leads to habituation deficits and that Hip14 is dispensable in development and instead acts acutely to promote habituation. Combined, these results uncover a previously unappreciated role for acute posttranslational palmitoylation at defined circuit components to regulate learning.

Keywords: Hip14; Kv1.1; Mauthner; Zdhhc17; axon cap; behavior; genetic screen; habituation learning; startle; zebrafish.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / physiology*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / genetics*
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Lipoylation / genetics*
  • Lipoylation / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / genetics*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology*
  • Shaker Superfamily of Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • Shaker Superfamily of Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / physiology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Shaker Superfamily of Potassium Channels
  • Acyltransferases