The modification of proteins by the attachment of palmitate is a reversible process that has profound effects on protein function. Although palmitoylation was first documented almost 30 years ago, it is still poorly understood. Progress in this field has been hampered by the elusive nature of the enzymes involved and the absence of an obvious consensus palmitoylation motif. However, major steps forward have recently been made. The cloning of two yeast enzymes revealed the existence of a family of palmitoyltransferases, and new techniques have been developed for the large-scale detection and identification of the palmitoyl-proteome.

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