The Journal of biological chemistry

DHHC5 interacts with PDZ domain 3 of post-synaptic density-95 (PSD-95) protein and plays a role in learning and memory.

PMID 20178993


A family of integral membrane proteins containing a signature DHHC motif has been shown to display protein S-acyltransferase activity, modifying cysteine residues in proteins with fatty acids. The physiological roles of these proteins have largely been unexplored. Here we report that mice homozygous for a hypomorphic allele of a previously uncharacterized member, DHHC5, are born at half the expected rate, and survivors show a marked deficit in contextual fear conditioning, an indicator of defective hippocampal-dependent learning. DHHC5 is highly enriched in a post-synaptic density preparation and co-immunoprecipitates with post-synaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), an interaction that is mediated through binding of the carboxyl terminus of DHHC5 and the PDZ3 domain of PSD-95. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that DHHC5 is expressed in the CA3 and dentate gyrus in the hippocampus. These findings point to a previously unsuspected role for DHHC5 in post-synaptic function affecting learning and memory.