Maurine Linder
Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine

Maurine Linder




Department of Molecular Medicine
C3 145 Veterinary Medical Center
College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853 USA


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Department Profile


Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Texas at Dallas.

Prior Faculty Positions: Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington Universit; Director, Graduate Program in Molecular Cell Biology, Washington University

Postdoctoral Experience: Research Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Alfred Gilman, Department of Pharmacology, Signal transduction mediated by guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins, post-translational modifications of G proteins

Research Description

Our goal is to understand the biology and enzymology of protein palmitoylation, a reversible posttranslational modification of proteins that impacts their localization, trafficking, and stability. Prominent in the nervous system, palmitoylation targets include receptors and their scaffold proteins, as well as signal transducers and their regulators. Like phosphorylation, palmitoylation is reversible and hence is regulated as well as regulatory. We hypothesize that palmitoylation represents a key dynamic regulatory mechanism for spatial and temporal control of cell signaling through its impact on protein localization.

A major focus of our work is the characterization of a recently discovered family of enzymes that palmitoylate proteins. Understanding the cell biology and enzymology of palmitoyltransferases will yield novel insights into how these enzymes can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit in cancer and neurological disorders. We study the enzymes in yeast and in mammalian organisms using molecular, genetic, and biochemical techniques. We are also designing assays for high throughput screens to identify inhibitors of palmitoyltransferases that can be used to probe the function of this versatile modification in vivo.

Recent Publications

Gottlieb CD, Shang Z, and Linder ME; The cysteine-rich domain of the DHHC3 palmitoyltransferase is palmitoylated and contains tightly bound zinc. J. Biol. Chem. (2015) 290:29259-69.

Yeste-Velasco M, Linder ME, and Lu, Y-J; Protein S-palmitoylation and cancer. BBA Cancer Reviews (2015) 1856:107-120.

Lai J and Linder ME; Oligomerization of DHHC-S-acyltransferases. J. Biol. Chem. (2013) 288:22862-70.

Nishimura A and Linder ME; A novel prenyl,palmitoyl CaaX modification of Cdc42 regulates RhoGDI binding and signaling activity. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2013) 33:1417-29.

Jennings BC and Linder ME; DHHC protein S-acyltransferases use a similar ping-pong kinetic mechanism but display different acyl-CoA specificities. J. Biol. Chem. (2012) 287:7236-45.

Hang HC and Linder ME; Exploring protein lipidation with chemical biology. Chemical Reviews (2011) 111:6341-58.

Nadolski M and Linder ME; Molecular recognition of the palmitoylation substrate Vac8 by its palmitoyltransferase Pfa3. J. Biol. Chem. (2009) 284: 17720-30.

Jennings BC, Nadolski MJ, Ling Y, Baker M, Harrison ML, Deschenes RJ and Linder ME; 2-bromopalmitate and 2-(2-hydroxy-5-nitro-benzylidene)-benzo[b]thiophen-3-one inhibit DHHC-mediated palmitoylation in vitro. J. Lipid Research (2009) 50:233-42.