More than half of the global population is obese or overweight, especially in Western countries, and this excess adiposity disrupts normal physiology to cause chronic diseases. Diabetes, an adiposity-associated epidemic disease, affects >500 million people, and cases are projected to exceed 1 billion before 2050. Lipid excess can impact physiology through the posttranslational modification of proteins, including the reversible process of S-palmitoylation. Dynamic palmitoylation cycling requires the S-acylation of proteins by acyltransferases and the depalmitoylation of these proteins mediated in part by acyl-protein thioesterases (APTs) such as APT1. Emerging evidence points to tissue-specific roles for the depalmitoylase APT1 in maintaining homeostasis in the vasculature, pancreatic islets, and liver. These recent findings raise the possibility that APT1 substrates can be therapeutically targeted to treat the complications of metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C1034-C1041
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • acyl-protein thioesterase
  • diabetes
  • insulin
  • obesity
  • S-acylation


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