Lipid-modified transcription factors (TFs) are biomolecular oddities since their reduced mobility and membrane attachment appear to contradict nuclear import required for their gene-regulatory function. NFAT5 isoform a (selected from an in silico screen for predicted lipid-modified TFs) is shown to contribute about half of all endogenous expression of human NFAT5 isoforms in the isotonic state. Wild-type NFAT5a protein is indeed myristoylated and palmitoylated on its transport to the plasmalemma via the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi.
Evolutionary conservation of N-terminal N-myristoylation within protein families indicates significant functional impact of this lipid posttranslational modification for function. In the MYRbase study (Maurer-Stroh et al., (2004) Genome Biology 5, R21), protein families with relevance to asymmetric cell division in animals and the group of plant calcium-dependent protein kinases (CPKs) have surfaced with many predicted myristoylated members.