Lipid droplets are central organelles for meiosis II progression during yeast sporulation

Tzu Han Hsu, Rey Huei Chen, Yun Hsin Cheng, Chao Wen Wang, Howard Riezman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Neutral lipids, predominantly triacylglycerol (TAG) and sterol ester, are stored within the cellular organelles termed lipid droplets (LDs). Although it is believed that the major function of LDs is to supply the cell with energy and membranes, little is known about the cellular events directly involving LDs and their contents. In this study, we provide cytological evidence that LDs form direct contacts with the prospore membrane (PSM) that is synthesized de novo during meiosis II to sequester the dividing nuclei in sporulating yeast. Lipidomic analyses indicate that TAG lipolysis releases free fatty acids at a time that correlates well with meiosis II progression, concomitant with phospholipid remodeling. Mutants lacking TAG or impaired of TAG hydrolysis show spore wall assembly defects, supporting a role for TAG and/or its metabolites in spore wall morphogenesis. Not only does LD integrity influence spore wall assembly, LDs are also essential for other aspects of spore development. Yeast cells lacking LDs are severely defective in PSM growth and organization and display disrupted spindles, producing dead spores or even failing to form spores. Together these results link LD physiology directly to a unique membrane morphogenesis process critical for development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-451
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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