There have been many recent advances in methodologies to detect the only reversible lipidation reaction of proteins, S-palmitoylation. This fatty acyl post translational modification has gained great interest in the research community as it is increasingly recognised as important in both health and in disease areas such as
  • Cancer – A number of liver1 and gastric2 cancers are associated with loss of function mutations of the DHHC class of palmitoyl acyl transferase (PAT) enzymes. [Click here for Badrilla Blog article]
  • Cardiovascular disease – Heart contraction is determined by calcium cycling within heart cells and this process is regulated by a plethora of channels and transporters. Abnormal S-palmitoylation of key channels has been associated with cardiac disease3. [Click here for Badrilla Blog article]
  • Neurodegenerative diseases – Recent evidence suggests an increase in S-palmitoylation of the scaffold protein PSD-95 may contribute to the NMDA mediated excitotoxicity that is associated with Huntingdon’s disease4.  [Click here for Badrilla Blog article]
In this article I will briefly examine the development of the acyl exchange methodologies used by researchers to measure palmitoylation. I will focus in particular on the recently published Acyl PEG Exchange (APE) 5/Acyl PEGyl Gel Shift (APEGS) 6 assay, paying particular attention to the advantages it offers scientists interested in exploring palmitoylation.