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METALIC reveals interorganelle lipid flux in live cells by enzymatic mass tagging
Nature Cell Biology  (IF28.213),  Pub Date : 2022-06-02, DOI: 10.1038/s41556-022-00917-9
Arun T. John Peter, Carmelina Petrungaro, Matthias Peter, Benoît Kornmann

The distinct activities of organelles depend on the proper function of their membranes. Coordinated membrane biogenesis of different organelles necessitates lipid transport from their site of synthesis to their destination. Several factors have been proposed to participate in lipid distribution, but despite its basic importance, in vivo evidence linking the absence of putative transport pathways to specific transport defects remains scarce. A reason for this scarcity is the near absence of in vivo lipid trafficking assays. Here we introduce a versatile method named METALIC (Mass tagging-Enabled TrAcking of Lipids In Cells) to track interorganelle lipid flux inside cells. In this strategy, two enzymes, one directed to a ‘donor’ and the other to an ‘acceptor’ organelle, add two distinct mass tags to lipids. Mass-spectrometry-based detection of lipids bearing the two mass tags is then used to quantify exchange between the two organelles. By applying this approach, we show that the ERMES and Vps13–Mcp1 complexes have transport activity in vivo, and unravel their relative contributions to endoplasmic reticulum–mitochondria lipid exchange.