Seipin negatively regulates sphingolipid production at the ER-LD contact site

Wei Cheng Su, Yi Hsiu Lin, Martin Pagac, Chao Wen Wang

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Seipin is known for its critical role in controlling lipid droplet (LD) assembly at the LD-forming subdomain of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, we identified a new function of seipin as a negative regulator for sphingolipid production. We show that yeast cells lacking seipin displayed altered sensitivity to sphingolipid inhibitors, accumulated sphingoid precursors and intermediates, and increased serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) and fatty acid (FA) elongase activities. Seipin associated with SPT and FA elongase, and the interaction was reduced by inhibitors for sphingolipid synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner. We further show that the interactions of seipin with SPT and FA elongase occurred at ER-LD contacts and were likely regulated differentially. Further evidence indicated that LD biogenesis was intact when SPT activity was blocked, whereas excess sphingoid intermediates may affect LD morphology. Expression of human seipin rescued the altered sphingolipids in yeast seipin mutants, suggesting that the negative regulation of sphingolipid synthesis by seipin is likely an evolutionarily conserved process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3663-3680
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 4

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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