Regulatory Role of Free Fatty Acids (FFAs)—Palmitoylation and Myristoylation

  • Kim C
  • Ross I
Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Multicellular organisms use chemical messengers to\r<br />transmit signals among organelles and to other cells. Relatively small hydrophobic molecules such as lipids\r<br />are excellent candidates for this signaling purpose. In most proteins, palmitic\r<br />acid and other saturated and some unsaturated fatty acids are esterified to the\r<br />free thiol of cysteines and to the N-amide terminal. This palmitoylation\r<br />process enhances the surface hydrophobicity and membrane affinity of protein\r<br />substrates and plays important roles in modulating proteins’ trafficking, stability, and sorting\r<br />etc. Protein palmitoylation has been involved in numerous cellular processes,\r<br />including signaling, apoptosis, and neuronal transmission. The palmitoylation\r<br />process is involved in multiple diseases such as Huntington’s disease, various\r<br />cardiovascular and T-cell mediated immune disorders, as well as cancer. Protein\r<br />palmitoylation through the thioester (S-acylation) is unique in that it is the only\r<br />reversible lipid modification. Our study on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and\r<br />deoxynivalenol (DON) treatment to rats provides some insights to the complex role of protein palmitoylation in\r<br />chemical and microbial toxicity. In contrast, myrisoylated proteins\r<br />contain the 14-carbon fatty acid myristate attached via amide linkage to the\r<br />N-terminal glycine residue of protein, and occur cotranslationally. The\r<br />bacterial outer membrane enzyme lipid A palmitoyltransferase (PagP) confers\r<br />resistance to host immune defenses by transferring a palmitate chain from a\r<br />phospholipid to the lipid A component of LPS. PagP is sensitive to cationic\r<br />antimicrobial peptides (CAMP) which are included among the products of the\r<br />Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signal transduction pathway. This modification of\r<br />lipid A with a palmitate appears to both and protects the pathogenic bacteria\r<br />from host immune defenses and attenuates the activation of those same defenses\r<br />through the TLR4 signal transduction pathway.




Kim, C. S., & Ross, I. A. (2013). Regulatory Role of Free Fatty Acids (FFAs)—Palmitoylation and Myristoylation. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 04(09), 202–211.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free