Author(s): Sorek N, Yalovsky S
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Abstract S-acylation, also known as palmitoylation, involves the attachment of acyl fatty acids to thiol groups of cysteine residues through a reversible thioester bond. Owing to its reversibility, S-acylation is important in regulation of diverse signaling cascades, including Ras-associated cancers in mammals, stress response and metabolic regulation. Here we describe a simple protocol for analysis of protein S-acylation using gas chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry. Analysis can be carried out with as little as 1 microg of purified protein and allows chemical identification and, potentially, quantification of the acyl moieties. The method is based on cleavage of the fatty acids from proteins by hydrogenation with platinum (IV) oxide. This causes an acid transesterification of the acyl groups, adding an ethyl group to the carboxyl head of the fatty acid. The addition of the ethyl group reduces the polarity of the fatty acids, allowing their efficient separation by gas chromatography.
This article was published in Nat Protoc
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics