Researchers at the Duke National University School of Medicine and colleagues in Singapore have discovered a protein that transports degraded membrane lipids out of lysosomes, which are the breakdown plants
"Lysosomes are present in the cells of the human body and are tiny organelles responsible for breaking down cellular waste and recycling reusable molecules as building blocks for cellular components,"
explains Menglan He, one of the study's first authors and a Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Student in Integrated Biology and M.
In the study, Ms Ho and a team of multidisciplinary scientists in Singapore screened a group of transporters
whose functions have not yet been fully elucidated.
Their findings showed that an MFS protein called Spns1 transports the breakdown products of two phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, from lysosomes to the cytoplasm, and that phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine are important components of the structure and function of
"Scientists know a lot about the molecular processes that break down and transport some molecules in lysosomes," added Dr.
The scientists further found that the deficiency of Spns1 in cells and preclinical models led to the pathological accumulation
of two lipolysis products in the lysosome.
"Historically, it has been difficult to identify lysosomal lipid transporters, which has limited our understanding of the role of lysosomes in lipid metabolism and disease," said
Professor David Silver, lead senior co-author of the study and associate director of the Duke-National University of Singapore CVMD Program.
"It's a fantastic collaboration," said Federico Torta, an assistant professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore and a senior co-author
of the study.
Spns1 is a lysophospholipid transporter mediating lysosomal phospholipid salvage