Lipid droplets (LDs) are the primary organelles of lipid storage, buffering energy fluctuations of the cell. They store neutral lipids in their core that is surrounded by a protein-decorated phospholipid monolayer. LDs arise from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The ER protein seipin, localizing at ER-LD junctions, controls LD nucleation and growth. However, how LD biogenesis is spatially and temporally coordinated remains elusive. Here, we show that the lipid transfer proteins ORP5 and ORP8 control LD biogenesis at mitochondria-associated ER membrane (MAM) subdomains, enriched in phosphatidic acid. We found that ORP5/8 regulates seipin recruitment to these MAM–LD contacts, and their loss impairs LD biogenesis. Importantly, the integrity of ER–mitochondria contact sites is crucial for ORP5/8 function in regulating seipin-mediated LD biogenesis. Our study uncovers an unprecedented ORP5/8 role in orchestrating LD biogenesis and maturation at MAMs and brings novel insights into the metabolic crosstalk between mitochondria, ER, and LDs at the membrane contact sites.

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at
You do not currently have access to this content.