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Biochem Cell Biol. 2001;79(6):681-92.

Lipid metabolism and vesicle trafficking: more than just greasing the transport machinery.

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Department of Pediatrics, Atlantic Research Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.


The movement of lipids from their sites of synthesis to ultimate intracellular destinations must be coordinated with lipid metabolic pathways to ensure overall lipid homeostasis is maintained. Thus, lipids would be predicted to play regulatory roles in the movement of vesicles within cells. Recent work has highlighted how specific lipid metabolic events can affect distinct vesicle trafficking steps and has resulted in our first glimpses of how alterations in lipid metabolism participate in the regulation of intracellular vesicles. Specifically, (i) alterations in sphingolipid metabolism affect the ability of SNAREs to fuse membranes, (ii) sterols are required for efficient endocytosis, (iii) glycerophospholipids and phosphorylated phosphatidylinositols regulate Golgi-mediated vesicle transport, (iv) lipid acylation is required for efficient vesicle transport mediated membrane fission, and (v) the addition of glycosylphosphatidylinositol lipid anchors to proteins orders them into distinct domains that result in their preferential sorting from other vesicle destined protein components in the endoplasmic reticulum. This review describes the experimental evidence that demonstrates a role for lipid metabolism in the regulation of specific vesicle transport events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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