In Silico Identification of Protein S-Palmitoylation Sites and Their Involvement in Human Inherited Disease

Shuyan Li, Jiazhong Li, Lulu Ning, Shaopeng Wang, Yuzhen Niu, Nengzhi Jin, Xiaojun Yao, Huanxiang Liu, Lili Xi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


S-Palmitoylation is a key regulatory mechanism controlling protein targeting, localization, stability, and activity. Since increasing evidence shows that its disruption is implicated in many human diseases, the identification of palmitoylation sites is attracting more attention. However, the computational methods that are published so far for this purpose have suffered from a poor balance of sensitivity and specificity; hence, it is difficult to get a good generalized prediction ability on an external validation set, which holds back the further analysis of associations between disruption of palmitoylation and human inherited diseases. In this work, we present a reliable identification method for protein S-palmitoylation sites, called SeqPalm, based on a series of newly composed features from protein sequences and the synthetic minority oversampling technique. With only 16 extracted key features, this approach achieves the most favorable prediction performance up to now with sensitivity, specificity, and Matthew's correlation coefficient values of 95.4%, 96.3%, and 0.917, respectively. Then, all known disease-associated variations are studied by SeqPalm. It is found that 243 potential loss or gain of palmitoylation sites are highly associated with human inherited disease. The analysis presents several potential therapeutic targets for inherited diseases associated with loss or gain of palmitoylation function. There are even biological evidence that are coordinate with our prediction results. Therefore, this work presents a novel approach to discover the molecular basis of pathogenesis associated with abnormal palmitoylation. SeqPalm is now available online at, which can not only annotate the palmitoylation sites of proteins but also distinguish loss or gain of palmitoylation sites by protein variations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2015-2025
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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