Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 19;110(12):4628-33. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217611110. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Membrane lipid saturation activates endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response transducers through their transmembrane domains.

Author information

University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories and National Institute for Health Research, Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, United Kingdom.


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensors use a related luminal domain to monitor the unfolded protein load and convey the signal to downstream effectors, signaling an unfolded protein response (UPR) that maintains compartment-specific protein folding homeostasis. Surprisingly, perturbation of cellular lipid composition also activates the UPR, with important consequences in obesity and diabetes. However, it is unclear if direct sensing of the lipid perturbation contributes to UPR activation. We found that mutant mammalian ER stress sensors, IRE1α and PERK, lacking their luminal unfolded protein stress-sensing domain, nonetheless retained responsiveness to increased lipid saturation. Lipid saturation-mediated activation in cells required an ER-spanning transmembrane domain and was positively regulated in vitro by acyl-chain saturation in reconstituted liposomes. These observations suggest that direct sensing of the lipid composition of the ER membrane contributes to the UPR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center