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The palmitoylation state of PMP22 modulates epithelial cell morphology and migration

Author(s): Susie J. Zoltewicz | Sooyeon Lee | Vinita G. Chittoor | Steven M. Freeland | Sunitha Rangaraju | David A. Zacharias | Lucia Notterpek

Journal: ASN Neuro
ISSN 1759-0914

Volume: 4;
Issue: 6;
Start page: e00101;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: lipid modification | myelin | protein trafficking | Schwann cell | tetraspan

PMP22 (peripheral myelin protein 22), also known as GAS 3 (growth-arrest-specific protein 3), is a disease-linked tetraspan glycoprotein of peripheral nerve myelin and constituent of intercellular junctions in epithelia. To date, our knowledge of the post-translational modification of PMP22 is limited. Using the CSS-Palm 2.0 software we predicted that C85 (cysteine 85), a highly conserved amino acid located between the second and third transmembrane domains, is a potential site for palmitoylation. To test this, we mutated C85S (C85 to serine) and established stable cells lines expressing the WT (wild-type) or the C85S-PMP22. In Schwann and MDCK (Madin–Darby canine kidney) cells mutating C85 blocked the palmitoylation of PMP22, which we monitored using 17-ODYA (17-octadecynoic acid). While palmitoylation was not necessary for processing the newly synthesized PMP22 through the secretory pathway, overexpression of C85S-PMP22 led to pronounced cell spreading and uneven monolayer thinning. To further investigate the functional significance of palmitoylated PMP22, we evaluated MDCK cell migration in a wound-healing assay. While WT-PMP22 expressing cells were resistant to migration, C85S cells displayed lamellipodial protrusions and migrated at a similar rate to vector control. These findings indicate that palmitoylation of PMP22 at C85 is critical for the role of the protein in modulating epithelial cell shape and motility.
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