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Exp Cell Res. 2015 Mar 1;332(1):146-55. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2014.12.004. Epub 2014 Dec 16.

Characterization of the sebocyte lipid droplet proteome reveals novel potential regulators of sebaceous lipogenesis.

Author information

Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich, Germany.
Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis LAFUGA, Gene Center, LMU Munich, Germany.
Human Biology and BioImaging, Department of Biology II, LMU Munich, Germany.
Departments of Dermatology, Venereology, Allergology and Immunology, Dessau Medical Center, Dessau, Germany.
Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich, Germany. Electronic address:


Lipid metabolism depends on lipid droplets (LD), cytoplasmic structures surrounded by a protein-rich phospholipid monolayer. Although lipid synthesis is the hallmark of sebaceous gland cell differentiation, the LD-associated proteins of sebocytes have not been evaluated systematically. The LD fraction of SZ95 sebocytes was collected by density gradient centrifugation and associated proteins were analyzed by nanoliquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. 54 proteins were significantly enriched in LD fractions, and 6 of them have not been detected previously in LDs. LD fractions contained high levels of typical LD-associated proteins as PLIN2/PLIN3, and most proteins belonged to functional categories characteristic for LD-associated proteins, indicating a reliable dataset. After confirming expression of transcripts encoding the six previously unidentified proteins by qRT-PCR in SZ95 sebocytes and in another sebocyte line (SebE6E7), we focused on two of these proteins, ALDH1A3 and EPHX4. While EPHX4 was localized almost exclusively on the surface of LDs, ALDH1A3 showed a more widespread localization that included additional cytoplasmic structures. siRNA-mediated downregulation revealed that depletion of EPHX4 increases LD size and sebaceous lipogenesis. Further studies on the roles of these proteins in sebocyte physiology and sebaceous lipogenesis may indicate novel strategies for the therapy of sebaceous gland-associated diseases such as acne.


Acne; Lipid droplets; Proteomics; Sebaceous glands

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