Sphingolipids are membrane lipids globally required for eukaryotic life. The sphingolipid content varies among endomembranes with pre- and post-Golgi compartments being poor and rich in sphingolipids, respectively. Due to this different sphingolipid content, pre- and post-Golgi membranes serve different cellular functions. The basis for maintaining distinct subcellular sphingolipid levels in the presence of membrane trafficking and metabolic fluxes is only partially understood. Here, we describe a homeostatic regulatory circuit that controls sphingolipid levels at the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Specifically, we show that sphingomyelin production at the TGN triggers a signalling pathway leading to PtdIns(4)P dephosphorylation. Since PtdIns(4)P is required for cholesterol and sphingolipid transport to the trans-Golgi network, PtdIns(4)P consumption interrupts this transport in response to excessive sphingomyelin production. Based on this evidence, we envisage a model where this homeostatic circuit maintains a constant lipid composition in the trans-Golgi network and post-Golgi compartments, thus counteracting fluctuations in the sphingolipid biosynthetic flow.
- lipid territories
- lipid-transfer protein
- membrane contact sites
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)