membrane contact sites
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2022 ◽  
Hannah E Krawczyk ◽  
Siqi Sun ◽  
Nathan Doner ◽  
Qiqi Yan ◽  
Magdiel Sheng Satha Lim ◽  

Membrane contact sites (MCS) are inter-organellar connections that allow for the direct exchange of molecules, such as lipids or Ca2+ between organelles, but can also serve to tether organelles at specific locations within cells. Here we identified and characterised three proteins that form a lipid droplet (LD)-plasma membrane (PM) tethering complex in plant cells, namely LD-localised SEED LD PROTEIN (SLDP) 1 and 2 and PM-localised LD-PLASMA MEMBRANE ADAPTOR (LIPA). Using proteomics and different protein-protein interaction assays, we show that both SLDPs associate with LIPA. Disruption of either SLDP1 and 2 expression, or that of LIPA, leads to an aberrant clustering of LDs in Arabidopsis seedlings. Ectopic co-expression of one of the SLDPs with LIPA on the other hand is sufficient to reconstitute LD-PM tethering in Nicotiana tabacum pollen tubes, a cell type characterised by dynamically moving LDs in the cytosolic streaming. Further, confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed both SLDP2.1 and LIPA to be enriched at LD-PM contact sites in seedlings. These and other results suggest that SLDP and LIPA interact to form a tethering complex that anchors a subset of LDs to the PM during post-germinative seedling growth in Arabidopsis thaliana.

2022 ◽  
Vol 221 (3) ◽  
Suzan Kors ◽  
Christian Hacker ◽  
Chloe Bolton ◽  
Renate Maier ◽  
Lena Reimann ◽  

Peroxisomes and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cooperate in cellular lipid metabolism. They form membrane contacts through interaction of the peroxisomal membrane protein ACBD5 (acyl-coenzyme A–binding domain protein 5) and the ER-resident protein VAPB (vesicle-associated membrane protein–associated protein B). ACBD5 binds to the major sperm protein domain of VAPB via its FFAT-like (two phenylalanines [FF] in an acidic tract) motif. However, molecular mechanisms, which regulate formation of these membrane contact sites, are unknown. Here, we reveal that peroxisome–ER associations via the ACBD5-VAPB tether are regulated by phosphorylation. We show that ACBD5-VAPB binding is phosphatase-sensitive and identify phosphorylation sites in the flanking regions and core of the FFAT-like motif, which alter interaction with VAPB—and thus peroxisome–ER contact sites—differently. Moreover, we demonstrate that GSK3β (glycogen synthase kinase-3 β) regulates this interaction. Our findings reveal for the first time a molecular mechanism for the regulation of peroxisome–ER contacts in mammalian cells and expand the current model of FFAT motifs and VAP interaction.

Carlos Enrich ◽  
Albert Lu ◽  
Francesc Tebar ◽  
Carles Rentero ◽  
Thomas Grewal

Membrane contact sites (MCS) are specialized small areas of close apposition between two different organelles that have led researchers to reconsider the dogma of intercellular communication via vesicular trafficking. The latter is now being challenged by the discovery of lipid and ion transfer across MCS connecting adjacent organelles. These findings gave rise to a new concept that implicates cell compartments not to function as individual and isolated entities, but as a dynamic and regulated ensemble facilitating the trafficking of lipids, including cholesterol, and ions. Hence, MCS are now envisaged as metabolic platforms, crucial for cellular homeostasis. In this context, well-known as well as novel proteins were ascribed functions such as tethers, transporters, and scaffolds in MCS, or transient MCS companions with yet unknown functions. Intriguingly, we and others uncovered metabolic alterations in cell-based disease models that perturbed MCS size and numbers between coupled organelles such as endolysosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, or lipid droplets. On the other hand, overexpression or deficiency of certain proteins in this narrow 10–30 nm membrane contact zone can enable MCS formation to either rescue compromised MCS function, or in certain disease settings trigger undesired metabolite transport. In this “Mini Review” we summarize recent findings regarding a subset of annexins and discuss their multiple roles to regulate MCS dynamics and functioning. Their contribution to novel pathways related to MCS biology will provide new insights relevant for a number of human diseases and offer opportunities to design innovative treatments in the future.

2021 ◽  
Vol 221 (2) ◽  
Albert Lu ◽  
Frank Hsieh ◽  
Bikal R. Sharma ◽  
Sydney R. Vaughn ◽  
Carlos Enrich ◽  

We report here two genome-wide CRISPR screens performed to identify genes that, when knocked out, alter levels of lysosomal cholesterol or bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate. In addition, these screens were also performed under conditions of NPC1 inhibition to identify modifiers of NPC1 function in lysosomal cholesterol export. The screens confirm tight coregulation of cholesterol and bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate in cells and reveal an unexpected role for the ER-localized SNX13 protein as a negative regulator of lysosomal cholesterol export and contributor to ER–lysosome membrane contact sites. In the absence of NPC1 function, SNX13 knockdown redistributes lysosomal cholesterol and is accompanied by triacylglycerol-rich lipid droplet accumulation and increased lysosomal bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate. These experiments provide unexpected insight into the regulation of lysosomal lipids and modification of these processes by novel gene products.

Fernanda Cabrera-Reyes ◽  
Claudia Parra-Ruiz ◽  
María Isabel Yuseff ◽  
Silvana Zanlungo

Lipid-related disorders, which primarily affect metabolic tissues, including adipose tissue and the liver are associated with alterations in lysosome homeostasis. Obesity is one of the more prevalent diseases, which results in energy imbalance within metabolic tissues and lysosome dysfunction. Less frequent diseases include Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) and Gaucher diseases, both of which are known as Lysosomal Storage Diseases (LSDs), where lysosomal dysfunction within metabolic tissues remains to be fully characterized. Adipocytes and hepatocytes share common pathways involved in the lysosome-autophagic axis, which are regulated by the function of cathepsins and CD36, an immuno-metabolic receptor and display alterations in lipid diseases, and thereby impacting metabolic functions. In addition to intrinsic defects observed in metabolic tissues, cells of the immune system, such as B cells can infiltrate adipose and liver tissues, during metabolic imbalance favoring inflammation. Moreover, B cells rely on lysosomes to promote the processing and presentation of extracellular antigens and thus could also present lysosome dysfunction, consequently affecting such functions. On the other hand, growing evidence suggests that cells accumulating lipids display defective inter-organelle membrane contact sites (MCSs) established by lysosomes and other compartments, which contribute to metabolic dysfunctions at the cellular level. Overall, in this review we will discuss recent findings addressing common mechanisms that are involved in lysosome dysregulation in adipocytes and hepatocytes during obesity, NPC, and Gaucher diseases. We will discuss whether these mechanisms may modulate the function of B cells and how inter-organelle contacts, emerging as relevant cellular mechanisms in the control of lipid homeostasis, have an impact on these diseases.

2021 ◽  
David Kovacs ◽  
Anne-Sophie Gay ◽  
Lucile Fleuriot ◽  
Delphine Debayle ◽  
Ana Rita Dias Araujo ◽  

Golgi lipid environment regulates sorting and cargo secretion. However, the mechanisms that spatiotemporally control the lipid composition of the secretory membranes to drive cargo trafficking are poorly understood. Lipid transfer proteins regulate the concentration of specific lipids at membrane contact sites. We hypothesised that by catalysing cholesterol/PI(4)P exchange at ER-trans-Golgi membrane contact sites the lipid transfer protein oxysterol binding protein (OSBP) affects the secretion of a subset of cargoes. Here, we report that OSBP is a major epithelial protein as its inhibition leads to complete loss of apico-basal polarity. By mapping the OSBP proximity proteome with the biotin ligase TurboID, we found that OSBP controls the secretion of multiple membrane associated proteins, including key polarity determinants such as E-cadherin. Mechanistically, we established that OSBP contributes to E-cadherin secretion by supplying cholesterol to post-Golgi membranes. Importantly, when cells downregulate cell-cell junctions upon epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, they re-wire their lipid homeostasis and downregulate OSBP as well, thus altering the trafficking of the OSBP-dependent secretory cargoes.

Membranes ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (12) ◽  
pp. 971
Philipp Schlarmann ◽  
Atsuko Ikeda ◽  
Kouichi Funato

Sphingolipids are the most diverse class of membrane lipids, in terms of their structure and function. Structurally simple sphingolipid precursors, such as ceramides, act as intracellular signaling molecules in various processes, including apoptosis, whereas mature and complex forms of sphingolipids are important structural components of the plasma membrane. Supplying complex sphingolipids to the plasma membrane, according to need, while keeping pro-apoptotic ceramides in check is an intricate task for the cell and requires mechanisms that tightly control sphingolipid synthesis, breakdown, and storage. As each of these processes takes place in different organelles, recent studies, using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have investigated the role of membrane contact sites as hubs that integrate inter-organellar sphingolipid transport and regulation. In this review, we provide a detailed overview of the findings of these studies and put them into the context of established regulatory mechanisms of sphingolipid homeostasis. We have focused on the role of membrane contact sites in sphingolipid metabolism and ceramide transport, as well as the mechanisms that prevent toxic ceramide accumulation.

Sara Benhammouda ◽  
Anjali Vishwakarma ◽  
Priya Gatti ◽  
Marc Germain

Organelles cooperate with each other to regulate vital cellular homoeostatic functions. This occurs through the formation of close connections through membrane contact sites. Mitochondria-Endoplasmic-Reticulum (ER) contact sites (MERCS) are one of such contact sites that regulate numerous biological processes by controlling calcium and metabolic homeostasis. However, the extent to which contact sites shape cellular biology and the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. A number of biochemical and imaging approaches have been established to address these questions, resulting in the identification of a number of molecular tethers between mitochondria and the ER. Among these techniques, fluorescence-based imaging is widely used, including analysing signal overlap between two organelles and more selective techniques such as in-situ proximity ligation assay (PLA). While these two techniques allow the detection of endogenous proteins, preventing some problems associated with techniques relying on overexpression (FRET, split fluorescence probes), they come with their own issues. In addition, proper image analysis is required to minimise potential artefacts associated with these methods. In this review, we discuss the protocols and outline the limitations of fluorescence-based approaches used to assess MERCs using endogenous proteins.

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