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

Nadolski MJ, Linder ME. Molecular recognition of the palmitoylation substrate Vac8 by its palmitoyltransferase Pfa3. J. Biol. Chem. 2009 284:17720-30. Epub 2009 May 5.

Linder ME. Neuroscience: greasy proteins of the neuron. Nature 2008 456:887-8.

He Y, Linder ME. Differential palmitoylation of the endosomal SNAREs syntaxin 7 and syntaxin 8. J. Lipid Res. 2009 50:398-404. Epub 2008 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 18980942; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2639088.

Jennings BC, Nadolski MJ, Ling Y, Baker MB, Harrison ML, Deschenes RJ, Linder ME. 2-Bromopalmitate and 2-(2-hydroxy-5-nitro-benzylidene)-benzo[b]thiophen-3-oneinhibit DHHC-mediated palmitoylation in vitro. J. Lipid Res. 2009 50:233-42. Epub 2008 Sep 30. PubMed PMID: 18827284; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2636914.

Nadolski MJ, Linder ME. Protein lipidation. FEBS J. 2007 274:5202-10. Epub 2007 Sep 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 17892486.

Linder ME. Deschenes RJ. Palmitoylation: policing protein stability and traffic. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol. 2007 8:74-84. Review. PubMed PMID: 17183362.

Budde C, Schoenfish MJ, Linder ME, Deschenes RJ. Purification and characterization of recombinant protein acyltransferases. Methods 2006 40:143-50. Review. PubMed PMID: 17012026; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1899524.

Drenan RM, Doupnik CA, Jayaraman M, Buchwalter AL, Kaltenbronn KM, Huettner JE, Linder ME, Blumer KJ. R7BP augments the function of RGS7*Gbeta5 complexes by a plasma membrane-targeting mechanism. J. Biol. Chem. 2006 281:28222-31. Epub 2006 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 16867977.

Mitchell DA, Vasudevan A, Linder ME, Deschenes RJ. Protein palmitoylation by a family of DHHC protein S-acyltransferases. J. Lipid Res. 2006 47:1118-27. Epub 2006 Apr 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 16582420.