Activation and depalmitoylation of Gs alpha

Cell. 1994 Jul 1;77(7):1063-70. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90445-6.


[3H]palmitate attached to mutationally activated alpha s (alpha s-R201C) turns over rapidly, compared with palmitate linked to normal alpha s (t1/2 approximately 2 min versus 90 min); although alpha s-R201C (unlike normal alpha s) is predominantly found in the cytosol, [3H]palmitate is linked only to the membrane-bound pool of alpha s, normal or mutant. Similarly, activation of wild-type alpha s by isoproterenol, a beta-adrenoceptor agonist that also induces membrane-to-cytosol translocation of alpha s, dramatically accelerates depalmitoylation of alpha s. Thus, activation-induced removal of palmitate provides an explanation for activation-induced shifts of alpha s to the cytosol. Regulated palmitoylation cycles provide a potential general mechanism for controlling reversible changes in the cellular location and activity of a protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Isoproterenol / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Palmitates / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Palmitates
  • Colforsin
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Isoproterenol