Palmitoyltransferase DHHC9 and acyl protein thioesterase APT1 modulate renal fibrosis through regulating β-catenin palmitoylation

Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 21;14(1):6682. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-42476-z.


palmitoylation, a reversible post-translational modification, is initiated by the DHHC family of palmitoyltransferases and reversed by several acyl protein thioesterases. However, the role and mechanisms for protein palmitoylation in renal fibrosis have not been elucidated. Here we show protein palmitoylation and DHHC9 were downregulated in the fibrotic kidneys of mouse models and chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Ablating DHHC9 in tubular cells aggravated, while inducing DHHC9 overexpression with adeno-DHHC9 transfection or iproniazid treatment protected against kidney fibrosis in male mouse models. Mechanistically, DHHC9 palmitoylated β-catenin, thereby promoted its ubiquitination and degradation. Additionally, acyl protein thioesterase 1 (APT1) was induced in the fibrotic kidneys, which depalmitoylated β-catenin, increased its abundance and nuclear translocation. Ablating tubular APT1 or inhibiting APT1 with ML348 markedly protected against unilateral ureter obstruction (UUO) or ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI)-induced kidney fibrosis in male mice. This study reveals the regulatory mechanism of protein palmitoylation in kidney fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Lipoylation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / pathology
  • Ureteral Obstruction* / complications
  • Ureteral Obstruction* / pathology
  • beta Catenin


  • beta Catenin