Clickable Analogue of Cerulenin as Chemical Probe to Explore Protein Palmitoylation

2015-01-16T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Baohui Zheng Shunying Zhu Xu Wu
Dynamic palmitoylation is an important post-translational modification regulating protein localization, trafficking, and signaling activities. The Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHC) domain containing enzymes are evolutionarily conserved palmitoyl acyltransferases (PATs) mediating diverse protein S-palmitoylation. Cerulenin is a natural product inhibitor of fatty acid biosynthesis and protein palmitoylation, through irreversible alkylation of the cysteine residues in the enzymes. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of a “clickable” and long alkyl chain analogue of cerulenin as a chemical probe to investigate its cellular targets and to label and profile PATs <i>in vitro</i> and in live cells. Our results showed that the probe could stably label the DHHC-family PATs and enable mass spectrometry studies of PATs and other target proteins in the cellular proteome. Such probe provides a new chemical tool to dissect the functions of palmitoylating enzymes in cell signaling and diseases and reveals new cellular targets of the natural product cerulenin.