Acyl-PEGyl Exchange Gel Shift Assay for Quantitative Determination of Palmitoylation of Brain Membrane Proteins

David J. Speca, Elva Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Activity-dependent alterations in the levels of synaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) within the postsynaptic density (PSD) is thought to represent a cellular mechanism for learning and memory. Palmitoylation regulates localization and function of many synaptic proteins including AMPA-Rs, auxiliary factors and synaptic scaffolds in an activity-dependent manner. We identified the synapse differentiation induced gene (SynDIG) family of four genes (SynDIG1-4) encoding brain-specific transmembrane proteins that associate with AMPARs and regulate synapse strength. SynDIG1 is palmitoylated at two cysteine residues located at positions 191 and 192 in the juxta-transmembrane region important for activity-dependent excitatory synapse development. Here, we describe an innovative biochemical approach, the acyl-PEGyl exchange gel shift (APEGS) assay, to investigate the palmitoylation state of any protein of interest and demonstrate its utility with the SynDIG family of proteins in mouse brain lysates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number157
StatePublished - Mar 29 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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