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  • Freely turning over palmitate in erythrocyte membrane proteins is not responsible for the anchoring of lipid rafts to the spectrin skeleton: a study with bio-orthogonal chemical probes.

Freely turning over palmitate in erythrocyte membrane proteins is not responsible for the anchoring of lipid rafts to the spectrin skeleton: a study with bio-orthogonal chemical probes.

Biochimica et biophysica acta (2012-12-12)
Annarita Ciana, Cesare Achilli, Rami N Hannoush, Angela Risso, Cesare Balduini, Giampaolo Minetti
ABSTRACT

Erythrocyte lipid rafts are anchored to the underlying spectrin membrane skeleton [A. Ciana, C. Achilli, C. Balduini, G. Minetti, On the association of lipid rafts to the spectrin skeleton in human erythrocytes, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1808 (2011) 183-190]. The nature of this linkage and the molecules involved are poorly understood. The interaction is sensitive to the increase in pH and ionic strength induced by carbonate. Given the role of palmitoylation in modulating the partitioning of certain proteins between various sub-cellular compartments and the plasma membrane, we asked whether palmitoylation of p55, a peripheral protein located at the junctional complex between spectrin-actin-protein 4.1 that anchors the membrane skeleton to the lipid bilayer via the transmembrane protein glycophorin C, could contribute to the anchoring of lipid rafts to the membrane skeleton. We adopted a new, non-radioactive method for studying protein palmitoylation, based on bio-orthogonal chemical analogues of fatty acids, containing an omega-alkynyl group, to metabolically label cell proteins, which are then revealed by a "click chemistry" reaction of the alkynyl moiety with an azide-containing reporter tag. We show that the membrane localization and palmitoylation levels of p55 did not change after carbonate treatment. 2-bromopalmitate and cerulenin, two known palmitoylation inhibitors, completely inhibited p55 palmitoylation, and protein palmitoyl thioesterase-1 (PPT1) reduced it, without affecting the association between lipid rafts and membrane-skeleton, indicating, on the one hand, that p55 palmitoylation is enzymatic, and, on the other, that it is not involved in the modulation of the linkage of lipid rafts to the membrane-skeleton.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Cerulenin, ≥98% (HPLC), from Cephalosporium caerulens
Sigma-Aldrich
Spectrin from human erythrocytes, buffered aqueous glycerol solution
Sigma-Aldrich
2-Bromohexadecanoic acid, ~97%
Sigma-Aldrich
2-Bromohexadecanoic acid, ≥99.0% (GC)