Thursday, 06 July 2023 10:25

Adiposity research with cells Featured

A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Anne Spang from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has studied the lipid metabolism process in yeast cells and human cells in more detail. They have discovered that the protein Arf1 (ADP-ribosylation factor 1) acts like a molecular switch to regulate how many lipids are converted into ATP in the body.

Six ARF proteins are currently known to play important roles in versicle transport, actin remodeling, and other bioprocesses in cells. The ARF1 protein is localized in the Golgi apparatus and plays a central role in intra-Golgi transport.1 It is mainly involved in the recruitment of the envelope.2 Arf1 is also responsible for transporting lipids from the lipid droplets into the mitochondria so that they can be available for energy production. As soon as the body signals that it needs energy, Arf1 allows lipids to enter the mitochondria. Under normal circumstances, there is a feedback effect.

When the Arf1 protein is absent or overactive, the system becomes unbalanced and fatty acid accumulation occurs in the lipid droplets.3 The scientists suspect that Arf1 alters the environment at the contact site between the lipid droplet and the mitochondrion so that lipids can enter the mitochondria. Therefore, they now want to determine individual players in this feedback process with the Arf1 protein in the cells using spatially resolved proteomics and other methods.

The results have been published in Nature Cell Biology.
Enkler, L., Szentgyörgyi, V., Pennauer, M. et al. Arf1 coordinates fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial homeostasis. Nat Cell Biol (2023).

Additional information:
1 Beznoussenko GV, Bejan AI, Parashuraman S, Luini A, Kweon HS, Mironov AA. The diffusion model of intra-Golgi transport has limited power. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 10;24(2):1375. doi: 10.3390/ijms24021375. PMID: 36674888; PMCID: PMC9861033.

2 Moss J, Vaughan M. Structure and function of ARF proteins: activators of cholera toxin and critical components of intracellular vesicular transport processes. J Biol Chem. 1995 May 26;270(21):12327-30. doi: 10.1074/jbc.270.21.12327. PMID: 7759471.

3 How a molecular switch controls lipid metabolism. 6.7.23,