Mice with alopecia, osteoporosis, and systemic amyloidosis due to mutation in Zdhhc13, a gene coding for palmitoyl acyltransferase.

Journal Article

Protein palmitoylation has emerged as an important mechanism for regulating protein trafficking, stability, and protein-protein interactions; however, its relevance to disease processes is not clear. Using a genome-wide, phenotype driven N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-mediated mutagenesis screen, we identified mice with failure to thrive, shortened life span, skin and hair abnormalities including alopecia, severe osteoporosis, and systemic amyloidosis (both AA and AL amyloids depositions). Whole-genome homozygosity mapping with 295 SNP markers and fine mapping with an additional 50 SNPs localized the disease gene to chromosome 7 between 53.9 and 56.3 Mb. A nonsense mutation (c.1273A>T) was located in exon 12 of the Zdhhc13 gene (Zinc finger, DHHC domain containing 13), a gene coding for palmitoyl transferase. The mutation predicted a truncated protein (R425X), and real-time PCR showed markedly reduced Zdhhc13 mRNA. A second gene trap allele of Zdhhc13 has the same phenotypes, suggesting that this is a loss of function allele. This is the first report that palmitoyl transferase deficiency causes a severe phenotype, and it establishes a direct link between protein palmitoylation and regulation of diverse physiologic functions where its absence can result in profound disease pathology. This mouse model can be used to investigate mechanisms where improper palmitoylation leads to disease processes and to understand molecular mechanisms underlying human alopecia, osteoporosis, and amyloidosis and many other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding and amyloidosis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Saleem, AN; Chen, YH; Baek, HJ; Hsiao, YW; Huang, HW; Kao, HJ; Liu, KM; Shen, LF; Song, IW; Tu, CPD; Wu, JY; Kikuchi, T; Justice, MJ; Yen, JJY; Chen, YT

Published Date

  • 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 6

Start / End Page

  • e1000985 -

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1553-7404

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000985