Group IVA phospholipase A2 is necessary for the biogenesis of lipid droplets

Albert Gubern, Javier Casas, Miquel Barceló-Torns, David Barneda, Xavier De La Rosa, Roser Masgrau, Fernando Picatoste, Jesús Balsinde, María A. Balboa, Enrique Claro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Lipid droplets (LD) are organelles present in all cell types, consisting of a hydrophobic core of triacylglycerols and cholesteryl esters, surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipids and cholesterol. This work shows that LD biogenesis induced by serum, by long-chain fatty acids, or the combination of both in CHO-K1 cells was prevented by phospholipase A2 inhibitors with a pharmacological profile consistent with the implication of group IVA cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2α). Knocking down cPLA 2α expression with short interfering RNA was similar to pharmacological inhibition in terms of enzyme activity and LD biogenesis. A Chinese hamster ovary cell clone stably expressing an enhanced green fluorescent protein-cPLA2α fusion protein (EGFP-cPLA2) displayed higher LD occurrence under basal conditions and upon LD induction. Induction of LD took place with concurrent phosphorylation of cPLA 2α at Ser505. Transfection of a S505A mutant cPLA2α showed that phosphorylation at Ser505 is key for enzyme activity and LD formation. cPLA2α contribution to LD biogenesis was not because of the generation of arachidonic acid, nor was it related to neutral lipid synthesis. cPLA2α inhibition in cells induced to form LD resulted in the appearance of tubulo-vesicular profiles of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, compatible with a role of cPLA 2α in the formation of nascent LD from the endoplasmic reticulum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27369-27382
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2008


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