S-acylation of the insulin-responsive aminopeptidase (IRAP): quantitative analysis and identification of modified cysteines

Martin W. Werno, Luke H. Chamberlain

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The insulin-responsive aminopeptidase (IRAP) was recently identified as an S-acylated protein in adipocytes and other tissues. However, there is currently no information on the extent of S-acylation of this protein, the residues that are modified, or the effects of S-acylation on IRAP localisation. In this study, we employ a semi-quantitative acyl-RAC technique to show that approximately 60% of IRAP is S-acylated in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In contrast, S-acylation of GLUT4, a glucose transporter that extensively co-localises with IRAP, was approximately five-fold lower. Site-directed mutagenesis was employed to map the sites of S-acylation on IRAP to two cysteine residues, one of which is predicted to lie in the cytoplasmic side of the single transmembrane domain and the other which is just upstream of this transmembrane domain; our results suggest that these cysteines may be modified in a mutually-exclusive manner. Although S-acylation regulates the intracellular trafficking of several transmembrane proteins, we did not detect any effects of mutating the modified cysteines on the plasma membrane localisation of IRAP in HEK293T cells, suggesting that S-acylation is not essential for the movement of IRAP through the secretory pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12413
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2015


  • proteins
  • post-translational modifications
  • insulin-responsive aminopeptidase (IRAP)
  • diabetes

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