The Causes and Consequences of Nonenzymatic Protein Acylation.

TitleThe Causes and Consequences of Nonenzymatic Protein Acylation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsJames, AM, Smith, CL, Smith, AC, Robinson, AJ, Hoogewijs, K, Murphy, MP
JournalTrends Biochem Sci
Date Published2018 Aug 18

Thousands of protein acyl modification sites have now been identified in vivo. However, at most sites the acylation stoichiometry is low, making functional enzyme-driven regulation in the majority of cases unlikely. As unmediated acylation can occur on the surface of proteins when acyl-CoA thioesters react with nucleophilic cysteine and lysine residues, slower nonenzymatic processes likely underlie most protein acylation. Here, we review how nonenzymatic acylation of nucleophilic lysine and cysteine residues occurs; the factors that enhance acylation at particular sites; and the strategies that have evolved to limit protein acylation. We conclude that protein acylation is an unavoidable consequence of the central role of reactive thioesters in metabolism. Finally, we propose a hypothesis for why low-stoichiometry protein acylation is selected against by evolution and how it might contribute to degenerative processes such as aging.

Alternate JournalTrends Biochem. Sci.
Citation Key10.1016/j.tibs.2018.07.002
PubMed ID30131192