skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on January 30, 2025

Title: Amino acid and protein specificity of protein fatty acylation in Caenorhabditis elegans

Protein lipidation plays critical roles in regulating protein function and localization. However, the chemical diversity and specificity of fatty acyl group utilization have not been investigated using untargeted approaches, and it is unclear to what extent structures and biosynthetic origins ofS-acyl moieties differ fromN- andO-fatty acylation. Here, we show that fatty acylation patterns inCaenorhabditis elegansdiffer markedly between different amino acid residues. Hydroxylamine capture revealed predominant cysteineS-acylation with 15-methylhexadecanoic acid (isoC17:0), a monomethyl branched-chain fatty acid (mmBCFA) derived from endogenous leucine catabolism. In contrast, enzymatic protein hydrolysis showed that N-terminal glycine was acylated almost exclusively with straight-chain myristic acid, whereas lysine was acylated preferentially with two different mmBCFAs and serine was acylated promiscuously with a broad range of fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid. Global profiling of fatty acylated proteins using a set of click chemistry–capable alkyne probes for branched- and straight-chain fatty acids uncovered 1,013S-acylated proteins and 510 hydroxylamine-resistantN- orO-acylated proteins. Subsets ofS-acylated proteins were labeled almost exclusively by either a branched-chain or a straight-chain probe, demonstrating acylation specificity at the protein level. Acylation specificity was confirmed for selected examples, including theS-acyltransferase DHHC-10. Last, homology searches for the identified acylated proteins revealed a high degree of conservation of acylation site patterns across metazoa. Our results show that protein fatty acylation patterns integrate distinct branches of lipid metabolism in a residue- and protein-specific manner, providing a basis for mechanistic studies at both the amino acid and protein levels.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
2226270 2427055
NSF-PAR ID:
10515710
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
National Academy of Sciences
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume:
121
Issue:
5
ISSN:
0027-8424
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Syntrophomonas wolfei is an anaerobic syntrophic microbe that degrades short-chain fatty acids to acetate, hydrogen, and/or formate. This thermodynamically unfavorable process proceeds through a series of reactive acyl-Coenzyme A species (RACS). In other prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, the production of intrinsically reactive metabolites correlates with acyl-lysine modifications, which have been shown to play a significant role in metabolic processes. Analogous studies with syntrophic bacteria, however, are relatively unexplored and we hypothesized that highly abundant acylations could exist in S. wolfei proteins, corresponding to the RACS derived from degrading fatty acids. Here, by mass spectrometry-based proteomics (LC–MS/MS), we characterize and compare acylome profiles of two S. wolfei subspecies grown on different carbon substrates. Because modified S. wolfei proteins are sufficiently abundant to analyze post-translational modifications (PTMs) without antibody enrichment, we could identify types of acylations comprehensively, observing six types (acetyl-, butyryl-, 3- hydroxybutyryl-, crotonyl-, valeryl-, and hexanyl-lysine), two of which have not been reported in any system previously. All of the acyl-PTMs identified correspond directly to RACS in fatty acid degradation pathways. A total of 369 sites of modification were identified on 237 proteins. Structural studies and in vitro acylation assays of a heavily modified enzyme, acetyl-CoA transferase, provided insight on the potential impact of these acyl-protein modifications. The extensive changes in acylation-type, abundance, and modification sites with carbon substrate suggest that protein acylation by RACS may be an important regulator of syntrophy. 
    more » « less
  2. Chitosan nanofiber membranes are recognized as functional antimicrobial materials, as they can effectively provide a barrier that guides tissue growth and supports healing. Methods to stabilize nanofibers in aqueous solutions include acylation with fatty acids. Modification with fatty acids that also have antimicrobial and biofilm-resistant properties may be particularly beneficial in tissue regeneration applications. This study investigated the ability to customize the fatty acid attachment by acyl chlorides to include antimicrobial 2-decenoic acid. Synthesis of 2-decenoyl chloride was followed by acylation of electrospun chitosan membranes in pyridine. Physicochemical properties were characterized through scanning electron microscopy, FTIR, contact angle, and thermogravimetric analysis. The ability of membranes to resist biofilm formation by S. aureus and P. aeruginosa was evaluated by direct inoculation. Cytocompatibility was evaluated by adding membranes to cultures of NIH3T3 fibroblast cells. Acylation with chlorides stabilized nanofibers in aqueous media without significant swelling of fibers and increased hydrophobicity of the membranes. Acyl-modified membranes reduced both S. aureus and P.aeruginosa bacterial biofilm formation on membrane while also supporting fibroblast growth. Acylated chitosan membranes may be useful as wound dressings, guided regeneration scaffolds, local drug delivery, or filtration. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Protein S‐acylation, predominately in the form of palmitoylation, is a reversible lipid post‐translational modification on cysteines that plays important roles in protein localization, trafficking, activity, and complex assembly. The functions and regulatory mechanisms of S‐acylation have been extensively studied in mammals owing to remarkable development of high‐resolution proteomics and the discovery of the S‐acylation‐related enzymes. However, the advancement of S‐acylation studies in plants lags behind that in mammals, mainly due to the lack of knowledge about proteins responsible for this process, such as protein acyltransferases and their substrates. In this article, a set of systematic protocols to study global S‐acylation inArabidopsisseedlings is described. The procedures are presented in detail, including preparation ofArabidopsisseedlings, enrichment of plasma membrane (PM) proteins, ensuing enrichment of S‐acylated proteins/peptides based on the acyl‐biotin exchange method, and large‐scale identification of S‐acylated proteins/peptides via mass spectrometry. This approach enables researchers to study S‐acylation of PM proteins in plants in a systematic and straightforward way. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

    Basic Protocol 1: Preparation ofArabidopsisseedling materials

    Basic Protocol 2: Isolation and enrichment of plasma membrane proteins

    Support Protocol 1: Determination of protein concentration using BCA assay

    Basic Protocol 3: Enrichment of S‐acylated proteins by acyl‐biotin exchange method

    Support Protocol 2: Protein precipitation by methanol/chloroform method

    Basic Protocol 4: Trypsin digestion and proteomic analysis

    Alternate Protocol: Pre‐resin digestion and peptide‐level enrichment

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Microbial lipid metabolism is an attractive route for producing oleochemicals. The predominant strategy centers on heterologous thioesterases to synthesize desired chain-length fatty acids. To convert acids to oleochemicals (e.g., fatty alcohols, ketones), the narrowed fatty acid pool needs to be reactivated as coenzyme A thioesters at cost of one ATP per reactivation - an expense that could be saved if the acyl-chain was directly transferred from ACP- to CoA-thioester. Here, we demonstrate such an alternative acyl-transferase strategy by heterologous expression of PhaG, an enzyme first identified inPseudomonads, that transfers 3-hydroxy acyl-chains between acyl-carrier protein and coenzyme A thioester forms for creating polyhydroxyalkanoate monomers. We use it to create a pool of acyl-CoA’s that can be redirected to oleochemical products. Through bioprospecting, mutagenesis, and metabolic engineering, we develop three strains ofEscherichia colicapable of producing over 1 g/L of medium-chain free fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and methyl ketones.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) are essential to the production of fatty acids. In some species of marine bacteria, ACPs are arranged into tandem repeats joined by peptide linkers, an arrangement that results in high fatty acid yields. By contrast,Escherichia coli, a relatively low producer of fatty acids, uses a single-domain ACP. In this work, we have engineered the nativeE.coliACP into tandem di- and tri-domain constructs joined by a naturally occurring peptide linker from the PUFA synthase ofPhotobacterium profundum. The size of these tandem fused ACPs was determined by size exclusion chromatography to be higher (21 kDa, 36 kDa and 141 kDa) than expected based on the amino acid sequence (12 kDa, 24 kDa and 37 kDa, respectively) suggesting the formation of a flexible extended conformation. Structural studies using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), confirmed this conformational flexibility. The thermal stability for the di- and tri-domain constructs was similar to that of the unfused ACP, indicating a lack of interaction between domains. Lastly,E.colicultures harboring tandem ACPs produced up to 1.6 times more fatty acids than wild-type ACP, demonstrating the viability of ACP fusion as a method to enhance fatty acid yield in bacteria.

     
    more » « less