HDAC11 regulates type I interferon signaling through defatty-acylation of SHMT2

Ji Cao, Lei Sun, Pornpun Aramsangtienchai, Nicole A. Spiegelman, Xiaoyu Zhang, Weishan Huang, Edward Seto, Hening Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The smallest histone deacetylase (HDAC) and the only class IV HDAC member, HDAC11, is reported to regulate immune activation and tumorigenesis, yet its biochemical function is largely unknown. Here we identify HDAC11 as an efficient lysine defatty-acylase that is >10,000-fold more efficient than its deacetylase activity. Through proteomics studies, we hypothesized and later biochemically validated SHMT2 as a defatty-acylation substrate of HDAC11. HDAC11-catalyzed defatty-acylation did not affect the enzymatic activity of SHMT2. Instead, it affects the ability of SHMT2 to regulate type I IFN receptor ubiquitination and cell surface level. Correspondingly, HDAC11 depletion increased type I IFN signaling in both cell culture and mice. This study not only demonstrates that HDAC11 has an activity that is much more efficient than the corresponding deacetylase activity, but also expands the physiological functions of HDAC11 and protein lysine fatty acylation, which opens up opportunities to develop HDAC11-specific inhibitors as therapeutics to modulate immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5487-5492
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • HDAC11
  • IFNAR1
  • Interferon
  • Lysine fatty acylation
  • SHMT2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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