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Reprogrammed lipid metabolism protects inner nuclear membrane against unsaturated fat
Developmental Cell  (IF12.27),  Pub Date : 2021-08-17, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2021.07.018
Anete Romanauska, Alwin Köhler

The cell nucleus is surrounded by a double membrane. The lipid packing and viscosity of membranes is critical for their function and is tightly controlled by lipid saturation. Circuits regulating the lipid saturation of the outer nuclear membrane (ONM) and contiguous endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are known. However, how lipid saturation is controlled in the inner nuclear membrane (INM) has remained enigmatic. Using INM biosensors and targeted genetic manipulations, we show that increased lipid unsaturation causes a reprogramming of lipid storage metabolism across the nuclear envelope (NE). Cells induce lipid droplet (LD) formation specifically from the distant ONM/ER, whereas LD formation at the INM is suppressed. In doing so, unsaturated fatty acids are shifted away from the INM. We identify the transcription circuits that topologically reprogram LD synthesis and identify seipin and phosphatidic acid as critical effectors. Our study suggests a detoxification mechanism protecting the INM from excess lipid unsaturation.