Beimeng Sun

Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, United States

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Publications (4)49.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Yeast cell lysates produced by mechanical glass bead disruption are widely used in a variety of applications, including for the analysis of native function, e.g. protein-protein interaction, enzyme assays and membrane fractionations. Below, we report a striking case of protein denaturation and aggregation that is induced by this lysis protocol. Most of this analysis focuses on the type 1 casein kinase Yck2, which normally tethers to the plasma membrane through C-terminal palmitoylation. Surprisingly, when cells are subjected to glass bead disruption, non-palmitoylated, cytosolic forms of the kinase denature and aggregate, while membrane-associated forms, whether attached through their native palmitoyl tethers or through a variety of artificial membrane-tethering sequences, are wholly protected from denaturation and aggregation. A wider look at the yeast proteome finds that, while the majority of proteins resist glass bead-induced aggregation, a significant subset does, in fact, succumb to such denaturation. Thus, yeast researchers should be aware of this potential artifact when embarking on biochemical analyses that employ glass bead lysates to look at native protein function. Finally, we demonstrate an experimental utility for glass bead-induced aggregation, using its fine discrimination of membrane-associated from non-associated Yck2 forms to discern fractional palmitoylation states of Yck2 mutants that are partially defective for palmitoylation.
    Yeast 10/2010; 27(10):801-16. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The yeast chitin synthase Chs3 provides a well-studied paradigm for polytopic membrane protein trafficking. In this study, high-throughput analysis of the yeast deletion collection identifies a requirement for Pfa4, which is an uncharacterized protein with protein acyl transferase (PAT) homology, in Chs3 transport. PATs, which are the enzymatic mediators of protein palmitoylation, have only recently been discovered, and few substrates have been identified. We find that Chs3 is palmitoylated and that this modification is Pfa4-dependent, indicating that Pfa4 is indeed a PAT. Chs3 palmitoylation is required for ER export, but not for interaction with its dedicated ER chaperone, Chs7. Nonetheless, both palmitoylation and chaperone association are required to prevent the accumulation of Chs3 in high-molecular mass aggregates at the ER. Our data indicate that palmitoylation is necessary for Chs3 to attain an export-competent conformation, and suggest the possibility of a more general role for palmitoylation in the ER quality control of polytopic membrane proteins.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 08/2006; 174(1):19-25. · 9.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein palmitoylation is a reversible lipid modification that regulates membrane tethering for key proteins in cell signaling, cancer, neuronal transmission, and membrane trafficking. Palmitoylation has proven to be a difficult study: Specifying consensuses for predicting palmitoylation remain unavailable, and first-example palmitoylation enzymes--i.e., protein acyltransferases (PATs)--were identified only recently. Here, we use a new proteomic methodology that purifies and identifies palmitoylated proteins to characterize the palmitoyl proteome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Thirty-five new palmitoyl proteins are identified, including many SNARE proteins and amino acid permeases as well as many other participants in cellular signaling and membrane trafficking. Analysis of mutant yeast strains defective for members of the DHHC protein family, a putative PAT family, allows a matching of substrate palmitoyl proteins to modifying PATs and reveals the DHHC family to be a family of diverse PAT specificities responsible for most of the palmitoylation within the cell.
    Cell 07/2006; 125(5):1003-13. · 33.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous work found the two yeast plasma membrane-localized casein kinases Yck1p and Yck2p to be palmitoylated on C-terminal Cys-Cys sequences by the palmitoyl transferase Akr1p. The present work examines a third casein kinase, Yck3p, which ends with the C-terminal sequence Cys-Cys-Cys-Cys-Phe-Cys-Cys-Cys. Yck3p is palmitoylated and localized to the vacuolar membrane. While the C-terminal cysteines are required for this palmitoylation, Akr1p is not. Palmitoylation requires the C-terminal Yck3p residues 463-524, whereas information for vacuolar sorting maps to the 409-462 interval. Vacuolar sorting is disrupted in cis through deletion of the 409-462 sequences and in trans through mutation of the AP-3 adaptin complex; both cis- and trans-mutations result in Yck3p missorting to the plasma membrane. This missorted Yck3p restores 37 degrees C viability to yck1Delta yck2-ts cells. yck1Delta yck2-ts suppressor mutations isolated within the YCK3 gene identify the Yck3p vacuolar sorting signal-the tetrapeptide YDSI, a perfect fit to the YXXPhi adaptin-binding consensus. Although YXXPhi signals have a well-appreciated role in the adaptin-mediated sorting of mammalian cells, this is the first signal of this class to be identified in yeast.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 04/2004; 15(3):1397-406. · 4.55 Impact Factor