Seipin is known for its critical role in controlling lipid droplet (LD) assembly at the LD-forming subdomain of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, we identified a new function of seipin as a negative regulator for sphingolipid production. We show that yeast cells lacking seipin displayed altered sensitivity to sphingolipid inhibitors, accumulated sphingoid precursors and intermediates, and increased serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) and fatty acid (FA) elongase activities. Seipin associated with SPT and FA elongase, and the interaction was reduced by inhibitors for sphingolipid synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner. We further show that the interactions of seipin with SPT and FA elongase occurred at ER–LD contacts and were likely regulated differentially. Further evidence indicated that LD biogenesis was intact when SPT activity was blocked, whereas excess sphingoid intermediates may affect LD morphology. Expression of human seipin rescued the altered sphingolipids in yeast seipin mutants, suggesting that the negative regulation of sphingolipid synthesis by seipin is likely an evolutionarily conserved process.
Seipin negatively regulates sphingolipid production at the ER–LD contact site
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Wei-Cheng Su, Yi-Hsiu Lin, Martin Pagac, Chao-Wen Wang; Seipin negatively regulates sphingolipid production at the ER–LD contact site. J Cell Biol 4 November 2019; 218 (11): 3663–3680. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201902072
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