Phospholipid Synthesis and Transport in Yeast

Georg Achleitner, Günther Daum

Institut für Biochernie und Lebensmittelchemie, Technische Universität, Petersgasse 12/2, A-8010 Graz, Austria

Article history:

Received September 12, 1997
Accepted May 28, 1998

Key words:

phospholipid, biogenesis, cellular membranes, cellular organelles


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a suitable system to study cell biological and molecular biological problems of organelle biogenesis. Synthesis and correct distribution of phospholipids are essential prerequisites for the assembly of functional membranes. The majority of enzymes involved in phospholipid biosynthesis is located in the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, certain steps of phospholipid synthesis occur in mitochondria, Golgi and lipid particles. Interplay of these organelles is required to maintain a balanced cellular level of phospholipids. A prominent example of organelle collaboration is the sequence of biosynthetic steps of amino-glycerophospholipid synthesis, which occur in a concerted action of the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and probably the Golgi. Intracellular flow of lipids is necessary for the flux of intermediates between organelles that contribute to lipid biosynthesis, and for the supply of lipids to membranes that are unable to synthesize their own lipids. Protein-catalyzed lipid transport, vesicle flux and lipid translocation via membrane contact are possible mechanisms of lipid migration zoilhin the cell. Experimental evidence suggests that contact between organelles appears to be most important for lipid transport between subcellular compartments.

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