S-acylation of eukaryotic proteins is the reversible attachment of palmitic or stearic acid to cysteine residues, catalysed by protein S-acyl transferases that share an Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHC) motif. Previous evidence suggests that in Arabidopsis S-acylation is involved in the control of cell size, polarity and the growth of pollen tubes and root hairs.
Using a combination of yeast genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and loss of function genetics the roles of a member of the protein S-acyl transferase PAT family, AtPAT10 (At3g51390), have been explored.
In keeping with its role as a PAT, AtPAT10 auto-S-acylates, and partially complements the yeast akr1 PAT mutant, and this requires Cys192 of the DHHC motif. In Arabidopsis AtPAT10 is localized in the Golgi stack, trans-Golgi network/early endosome and tonoplast. Loss-of-function mutants have a pleiotropic phenotype involving cell expansion and division, vascular patterning, and fertility that is rescued by wild-type AtPAT10 but not by catalytically inactive AtPAT10C192A. This supports the hypothesis that AtPAT10 is functionally independent of the other Arabidopsis PATs.
Our findings demonstrate a growing importance of protein S-acylation in plants, and reveal a Golgi and tonoplast located S-acylation mechanism that affects a range of events during growth and development in Arabidopsis.