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1.  Turnover of Phosphatidic Acid through Distinct Signaling Pathways Affects Multiple Aspects of Pollen Tube Growth in Tobacco 
Phosphatidic acid (PA) is an important intermediate in membrane lipid metabolism that acts as a key component of signaling networks, regulating the spatio-temporal dynamics of the endomembrane system and the cytoskeleton. Using tobacco pollen tubes as a model, we addressed the signaling effects of PA by probing the functions of three most relevant enzymes that regulate the production and degradation of PA, namely, phospholipases D (PLD), diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs), and lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs). Phylogenetic analysis indicated a highly dynamic evolution of all three lipid-modifying enzymes in land plants, with many clade-specific duplications or losses and massive diversification of the C2-PLD family. In silico transcriptomic survey revealed increased levels of expression of all three PA-regulatory genes in pollen development (particularly the DGKs). Using specific inhibitors we were able to distinguish the contributions of PLDs, DGKs, and LPPs into PA-regulated processes. Thus, suppressing PA production by inhibiting either PLD or DGK activity compromised membrane trafficking except early endocytosis, disrupted tip-localized deposition of cell wall material, especially pectins, and inhibited pollen tube growth. Conversely, suppressing PA degradation by inhibiting LPP activity using any of three different inhibitors significantly stimulated pollen tube growth, and similar effect was achieved by suppressing the expression of tobacco pollen LPP4 using antisense knock-down. Interestingly, inhibiting specifically DGK changed vacuolar dynamics and the morphology of pollen tubes, whereas inhibiting specifically PLD disrupted the actin cytoskeleton. Overall, our results demonstrate the critical importance of all three types of enzymes involved in PA production and degradation, with strikingly different roles of PA produced by the PLD and DGK pathways, in pollen tube growth.
PMCID: PMC3355619  PMID: 22639652
phosphatidic acid; pollen tube; phospholipase D; diacylglycerol kinase; lipid phosphate phosphatase; tobacco; signaling; tip growth
2.  Lipins, Lipinopathies, and the Modulation of Cellular Lipid Storage and Signaling 
Progress in lipid research  2013;52(3):10.1016/j.plipres.2013.04.001.
Members of the lipin protein family are phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes, which catalyze the dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, the penultimate step in TAG synthesis. Lipins are unique among the glycerolipid biosynthetic enzymes in that they also promote fatty acid oxidation through their activity as co-regulators of gene expression by DNA-bound transcription factors. Lipin function has been evolutionarily conserved from a single ortholog in yeast to the mammalian family of three lipin proteins—lipin-1, lipin-2, and lipin-3. In mice and humans, the levels of lipin activity are a determinant of TAG storage in diverse cell types, and humans with deficiency in lipin-1 or lipin-2 have severe metabolic diseases. Recent work has highlighted the complex physiological interactions between members of the lipin protein family, which exhibit both overlapping and unique functions in specific tissues. The analysis of “lipinopathies” in mouse models and in humans has revealed an important role for lipin activity in the regulation of lipid intermediates (phosphatidate and diacylglycerol), which influence fundamental cellular processes including adipocyte and nerve cell differentiation, adipocyte lipolysis, and hepatic insulin signaling. The elucidation of lipin molecular and physiological functions could lead to novel approaches to modulate cellular lipid storage and metabolic disease.
PMCID: PMC3830937  PMID: 23603613
3.  Identification of Two Legionella pneumophila Effectors that Manipulate Host Phospholipids Biosynthesis 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(11):e1002988.
The intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila translocates a large number of effector proteins into host cells via the Icm/Dot type-IVB secretion system. Some of these effectors were shown to cause lethal effect on yeast growth. Here we characterized one such effector (LecE) and identified yeast suppressors that reduced its lethal effect. The LecE lethal effect was found to be suppressed by the over expression of the yeast protein Dgk1 a diacylglycerol (DAG) kinase enzyme and by a deletion of the gene encoding for Pah1 a phosphatidic acid (PA) phosphatase that counteracts the activity of Dgk1. Genetic analysis using yeast deletion mutants, strains expressing relevant yeast genes and point mutations constructed in the Dgk1 and Pah1 conserved domains indicated that LecE functions similarly to the Nem1-Spo7 phosphatase complex that activates Pah1 in yeast. In addition, by using relevant yeast genetic backgrounds we examined several L. pneumophila effectors expected to be involved in phospholipids biosynthesis and identified an effector (LpdA) that contains a phospholipase-D (PLD) domain which caused lethal effect only in a dgk1 deletion mutant of yeast. Additionally, LpdA was found to enhance the lethal effect of LecE in yeast cells, a phenomenon which was found to be dependent on its PLD activity. Furthermore, to determine whether LecE and LpdA affect the levels or distribution of DAG and PA in-vivo in mammalian cells, we utilized fluorescent DAG and PA biosensors and validated the notion that LecE and LpdA affect the in-vivo levels and distribution of DAG and PA, respectively. Finally, we examined the intracellular localization of both LecE and LpdA in human macrophages during L. pneumophila infection and found that both effectors are localized to the bacterial phagosome. Our results suggest that L. pneumophila utilize at least two effectors to manipulate important steps in phospholipids biosynthesis.
Author Summary
Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen that causes a severe pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease. Following infection, the bacteria use a Type-IVB secretion system to translocate multiple effector proteins into macrophages and generate the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV). The formation of the LCV involves the recruitment of specific bacterial effectors and host cell factors to the LCV as well as changes in its lipids composition. By screening L. pneumophila effectors for yeast growth inhibition, we have identified an effector, named LecE, that strongly inhibits yeast growth. By using yeast genetic tools, we found that LecE activates the yeast lipin homolog – Pah1, an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid, these two molecules function as bioactive lipid signaling molecules in eukaryotic cells. In addition, by using yeast deletion mutants in genes relevant to lipids biosynthesis, we have identified another effector, named LpdA, which function as a phospholipase-D enzyme. Both effectors were found to be localized to the LCV during infection. Our results reveal a possible mechanism by which an intravacuolar pathogen might change the lipid composition of the vacuole in which it resides, a process that might lead to the recruitment of specific bacterial and host cell factors to the vacoule.
PMCID: PMC3486869  PMID: 23133385
4.  Regulation of Cellular Diacylglycerol through Lipid Phosphate Phosphatases Is Required for Pathogenesis of the Rice Blast Fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100726.
Considering implication of diacylglycerol in both metabolism and signaling pathways, maintaining proper levels of diacylglycerol (DAG) is critical to cellular homeostasis and development. Except the PIP2-PLC mediated pathway, metabolic pathways leading to generation of DAG converge on dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid catalyzed by lipid phosphate phosphatases. Here we report the role of such enzymes in a model plant pathogenic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. We identified five genes encoding putative lipid phosphate phosphatases (MoLPP1 to MoLPP5). Targeted disruption of four genes (except MoLPP4) showed that MoLPP3 and MoLPP5 are required for normal progression of infection-specific development and proliferation within host plants, whereas MoLPP1 and MoLPP2 are indispensable for fungal pathogenicity. Reintroduction of MoLPP3 and MoLPP5 into individual deletion mutants restored all the defects. Furthermore, exogenous addition of saturated DAG not only restored defect in appressorium formation but also complemented reduced virulence in both mutants. Taken together, our data indicate differential roles of lipid phosphate phosphatase genes and requirement of proper regulation of cellular DAGs for fungal development and pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4069076  PMID: 24959955
5.  piRNA-associated germline nuage formation and spermatogenesis require MitoPLD pro-fusogenic mitochondrial-surface lipid signaling 
Developmental cell  2011;20(3):376-387.
The mammalian Phospholipase D MitoPLD facilitates mitochondrial fusion by generating the signaling lipid phosphatidic acid (PA). The Drosophila MitoPLD homolog Zucchini (Zuc), a proposed cytoplasmic nuclease, is required for piRNA generation, a critical event in germline development. We show that Zuc localizes to mitochondria and has MitoPLD-like activity. Conversely, MitoPLD−/− mice exhibit the meiotic arrest, DNA damage, and male sterility characteristic of mice lacking piRNAs. The primary function of MitoPLD appears to be the generation of mitochondrial-surface PA. This PA in turn recruits the phosphatase Lipin 1, which converts PA to diacylglycerol and promotes mitochondrial fission, suggesting a mechanism for mitochondrial morphology homeostasis. MitoPLD and Lipin 1 have opposing effects on mitochondria length and on intermitochondrial cement (nuage), a structure found between aggregated mitochondria that is implicated in piRNA generation. We propose that mitochondrial-surface PA generated by MitoPLD / Zuc recruits or activates nuage components critical for piRNA production.
PMCID: PMC3061402  PMID: 21397848
6.  Interleukin 4 receptor signaling in human monocytes and U937 cells involves the activation of a phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C: a comparison with chemotactic peptide, FMLP, phospholipase D, and sphingomyelinase 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1994;180(4):1457-1469.
Interleukin 4 (IL-4) diminishes cytokine activation of human macrophage. IL-4 binding to monocyte IL-4R is associated with protein kinase C (PKC) translocation to a nuclear fraction. The cleavage of diacyglycerol (DAG), an activator of PKC, from membrane phospholipids was investigated to define the proximal events of IL-4R signaling. IL-4 induced a statistically significant time-and dose-dependent generation of DAG. The IL-4-triggered production of DAG was not derived from phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) hydrolysis, since neither cytosolic calcium flux nor liberation of inositol phosphates was detected in response to IL-4. Experiments were performed using [14C- methyl]choline-labeled U937 cells and monocytes to determine whether IL- 4R activated phospholipase C (PLC), PLD, or PLA2 to use membrane phosphatidylcholine (PC) to form DAG. IL-4 induced a time- and dose- dependent increase of phosphocholine (pchol) with concomitant degradation of membrane PC (p < 0.05 compared with control). The finding that the peak reduction of PC was equivalent to peak production of pchol suggested that IL-4R signaling involved the activation of a PC- specific PLC. Changes in choline (chol) or lyso-PC and glycerolphosphocholine, the respective products of PC cleavage by PLD or PLA2, were not detected in IL-4-treated cells. In contrast, exogenous PLD induced an increase in chol and concomitant loss of membrane PC. Additional investigation suggested that IL-4R signaling does not involve PLD. In cells labeled with L-lyso-3-PC 1-[1- 14C]palmitoyl, PLD but not IL-4, increased the production of phosphatidic acid (PA) and phosphatidyl-ethanol when pretreated with ethanol. Propranolol, an inhibitor of phosphatidate phosphohydrolase, and calyculin A, a phosphatase 1 and 2A inhibitor, blocked DAG production in response to FMLP but not to IL-4. In propranolol pretreated cells, PMA but not IL-4 triggered the production of PA and lowered the amount of DAG. Evidence that PLA2 is not coupled to IL-4R is the detection of arachidonate production in response to FMLP but not to IL-4. Furthermore, IL-4R is not coupled to sphingomyelinase (SMase) since IL-4, unlike exogenous SMase, did not generate ceramide but induced the hydrolysis of PC to pchol that was comparable to exogenous PLC. In summary, IL-4R signaling in monocytes and U937 cells involves PLC and not PLD, PLA2, or SMase, and it uses PC and not PIP2 to form DAG.
PMCID: PMC2191688  PMID: 7931078
7.  Distinct Roles of the Phosphatidate Phosphatases Lipin 1 and 2 during Adipogenesis and Lipid Droplet Biogenesis in 3T3-L1 Cells* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(48):34502-34513.
Background: Lipins are phosphatidate phosphatases that generate diacylglycerol for lipid synthesis.
Results: Lipin 1 or lipin 2 depletion has distinct effects on differentiating adipocytes. Cells depleted of both lipins after initiation of adipogenesis accumulate triacylglycerol but display lipid droplet fragmentation.
Conclusion: Lipins have a role in lipid droplet biogenesis after initiation of adipogenesis.
Significance: Lipins play multiple roles during adipocyte differentiation.
Lipins are evolutionarily conserved Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes with essential roles in lipid biosynthesis. Mammals express three paralogues: lipins 1, 2, and 3. Loss of lipin 1 in mice inhibits adipogenesis at an early stage of differentiation and results in a lipodystrophic phenotype. The role of lipins at later stages of adipogenesis, when cells initiate the formation of lipid droplets, is less well characterized. We found that depletion of lipin 1, after the initiation of differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells but before the loading of lipid droplets with triacylglycerol, results in a reciprocal increase of lipin 2, but not lipin 3. We generated 3T3-L1 cells where total lipin protein and PAP activity levels are down-regulated by the combined depletion of lipins 1 and 2 at day 4 of differentiation. These cells still accumulated triacylglycerol but displayed a striking fragmentation of lipid droplets without significantly affecting their total volume per cell. This was due to the lack of the PAP activity of lipin 1 in adipocytes after day 4 of differentiation, whereas depletion of lipin 2 led to an increase of lipid droplet volume per cell. We propose that in addition to their roles during early adipogenesis, lipins also have a role in lipid droplet biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3843065  PMID: 24133206
Adipocyte; Lipids; Mouse; Phosphatase; Phosphatidate; Triacylglycerol; Lipin
Methods in enzymology  2007;434:305-315.
DPP1-encoded and LPP1-encoded lipid phosphate phosphatases are integral membrane proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They catalyze the Mg2+-independent dephosphorylation of bioactive lipid phosphate molecules such as diacylglycerol pyrophosphate and phosphatidate. These enzymes possess a three-domain lipid phosphatase motif that is localized to the hydrophilic surface of the membrane. The lipid phosphate phosphatase activities of DPP1-encoded and LPP1-encoded enzymes are measured by following the release of water-soluble radioactive inorganic phosphate from chloroform-soluble radioactive lipid phosphate substrate following a chloroform/methanol/water phase partition. The DPP1-encoded enzyme, commonly referred to as diacylglycerol pyrophosphate phosphatase, is purified from wild-type S. cerevisiae membranes by detergent solubilization with Triton X-100 followed by chromatography with DEAE-cellulose (DE53), Affi-Gel blue, hydroxylapatite, and Mono Q. The purification scheme yields an essentially homogeneous enzyme preparation that is stable for several years upon storage at −80°. The properties of the DPP1-encoded and LPP1-encoded lipid phosphate phosphatase enzymes are summarized.
PMCID: PMC2083191  PMID: 17954255
9.  The Exquisite Regulation of PLD2 by a Wealth of Interacting Proteins: S6K, Grb2, Sos, WASp and Rac2 (and a Surprise Discovery: PLD2 Is a GEF) 
Cellular signalling  2011;23(12):1885-1895.
PLD catalyzes the conversion of the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylcholine to choline and phosphatidic acid (PA). PLD's mission in the cell is two-fold: phospholipid turnover with maintenance of the structural integrity of cellular/intracellular membranes and cell signaling through PA and its metabolites. Precisely, through its product of the reaction, PA, PLD has been implicated in a variety of physiological cellular functions, such as intracellular protein trafficking, cytoskeletal dynamics, chemotaxis of leukocytes and cell proliferation. The catalytic (HKD) and regulatory (PH and PX) domains were studied in detail in the PLD1 isoform, but PLD2 was traditionally studied in lesser detail and much less was known about its regulation. Our laboratory has been focusing on the study of PLD2 regulation in mammalian cells. Over the past few years, we have reported, in regards to the catalytic action of PLD, that PA is a chemoattractant agent that binds to and signals inside the cell through the ribosomal S6 kinases (S6K). Regarding the regulatory domains of PLD2, we have reported the discovery of the PLD2 interaction with Grb2 via Y169 in the PX domain, and further association to Sos, which results in an increase of de novo DNA synthesis and an interaction (also with Grb2) via the adjacent residue Y179, leading to the regulation of cell ruffling, chemotaxis and phagocytosis of leukocytes. We also review the complex regulation by tyrosine phosphorylation by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R), Janus Kinase 3 (JAK3) and Src and the role of phosphatases. Recently, there is evidence supporting a new level of regulation of PLD2 at the PH domain, by the discovery of CRIB domains and a Rac2-PLD2 interaction that leads to a dual (positive and negative) effect on its enzymatic activity. Lastly, we review the surprising finding of PLD2 acting as a GEF. A phospholipase such as PLD that exists already in the cell membrane that acts directly on Rac allows a quick response of the cell without intermediary signaling molecules. This provides only the latest level of PLD2 regulation in a field that promises newer and exciting advances in the next few years.
PMCID: PMC3204931  PMID: 21740967
10.  Lipid Signaling on the Mitochondrial Surface 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2009;1791(9):839-844.
Regulated production and elimination of the signaling lipids phosphatidic acid (PA), diacylglycerol (DAG), and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI4,5P2) creates a complex and interconnected signaling network that modulates a wide variety of eukaryotic cell biological events. PA production at the plasma membrane and on trafficking membrane organelles by classical Phospholipase D (PLD) through the hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) has been studied widely. In this chapter, we review a newly identified, non-canonical member of the PLD superfamily, MitoPLD, which localizes to the mitochondrial surface and plays a role in mitochondrial fusion via the hydrolysis of cardiolipin (CL) to generate PA. The role of PA in facilitating the mitochondrial fusion event carried out by proteins known as Mitofusins is intriguing in light of the role classic PLD-generated PA plays in facilitating SNARE-mediated fusion of secretory membrane vesicles into the plasma membrane. In addition, however, PA on the mitochondrial surface may also trigger a signaling cascade that elevates DAG, leading to downstream events that affect mitochondrial fission and energy production. PA production on the mitochondrial surface may also stimulate local production of PI4,5P2 to facilitate mitochondrial fission and subcellular trafficking or facilitate Ca2+ influx.
PMCID: PMC2749073  PMID: 19540356
phosphatidic acid; MitoPLD; mitochondrial fusion; fission; insulin signaling; calcium homeostasis
11.  Phospholipase D2 ablation ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-linked synaptic dysfunction and cognitive deficits 
Growing evidence implicates aberrant lipid signaling in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While phospholipases A2 and C have been recently shown to mediate key actions of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) through a dysregulation of arachidonic acid and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate metabolism, respectively, the role of phospholipase D (PLD) has so far remained elusive. PLD produces phosphatidic acid (PA), a bioactive lipid involved in multiple aspects of cell physiology, including signaling and membrane trafficking processes. Here we show that oligomeric Aβ enhances PLD activity in cultured neurons and that this stimulatory effect does not occur upon ablation of PLD2 via gene targeting. Aβ fails to suppress long-term potentiation in PLD2-deficient hippocampal slices, suggesting that PLD2 is required for the synaptotoxic action of this peptide. In vivo PLD activity, as assessed by detection of phosphatidylethanol levels using mass spectrometry (MS) following ethanol injection, is also increased in the brain of a transgenic mouse model of AD (SwAPP). Furthermore, Pld2 ablation rescues memory deficits and confers synaptic protection in SwAPP mice despite a significant Aβ load. MS-based lipid analysis of pld2 mutant brains in the presence or absence of the SwAPP transgene unmasks striking crosstalks between different PA species. This lipid analysis shows an exquisite acyl chain specificity and plasticity in the perturbation of PA metabolism, with the notable elevation in SwAPP brains of a pool of PA previously linked to degeneration. Collectively, our results point to specific molecular species of PA as key modulators of AD pathogenesis and identify PLD2 as a novel potential target for therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3004537  PMID: 21147981
Beta-amyloid; lipid metabolism; phospholipid; neurodegeneration; synaptic plasticity; synaptic dysfunction
12.  Dual Function Lipin Proteins and Glycerolipid Metabolism 
Lipin family proteins are emerging as critical regulators of lipid metabolism. In triglyceride synthesis, lipins act as lipid phosphatase enzymes at the endoplasmic reticular membrane, catalyzing the dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to form diacylglycerol, which is the penultimate step in this process. However, lipin proteins are not integral membrane proteins and can rapidly translocate within the cell. In fact, emerging evidence suggests that lipins also play critical roles in the nucleus as transcriptional regulatory proteins. Thus, lipins are poised to regulate cellular lipid metabolism at multiple regulatory nodal points. This review summarizes the history of lipin proteins and discusses the current state of our understanding of lipin biology.
PMCID: PMC3118913  PMID: 21470873
13.  A Comprehensive Model That Explains the Regulation of Phospholipase D2 Activity by Phosphorylation-Dephosphorylation ▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;30(9):2251-2263.
We report here that the enzymatic activity of phospholipase D2 (PLD2) is regulated by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation. Phosphatase treatment of PLD2-overexpressing cells showed a biphasic nature of changes in activity that indicated the existence of “activator” and “inhibitory” sites. We identified three kinases capable of phosphorylating PLD2 in vitro—epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), JAK3, and Src (with JAK3 reported for the first time in this study)—that phosphorylate an inhibitory, an activator, and an ambivalent (one that can yield either effect) site, respectively. Mass spectrometry analyses indicated the target of each of these kinases as Y296 for EGFR, Y415 for JAK3, and Y511 for Src. The extent to which each site is activated or inhibited depends on the cell type considered. In COS-7, cells that show the highest level of PLD2 activity, the Y415 is a prominent site, and JAK3 compensates the negative modulation by EGFR on Y296. In MCF-7, cells that show the lowest level of PLD2 activity, the converse is the case, with Y296 unable to compensate the positive modulation by Y415. MTLn3, with medium to low levels of lipase activity, show an intermediate pattern of regulation but closer to MCF-7 than to COS-7 cells. The negative effect of EGFR on the two cancer cell lines MTLn3 and MCF-7 is further proven by RNA silencing experiments that yield COS-7 showing lower PLD2 activity, and MTLn3 and MCF-7 cells showing an elevated activity. MCF-7 is a cancer cell line derived from a low-aggressive/invasive form of breast cancer that has relatively low levels of PLD activity. We propose that PLD2 activity is low in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 because it is kept downregulated by tyrosyl phosphorylation of Y296 by EGFR kinase. Thus, phosphorylation of PLD2-Y296 could be the signal for lowering the level of PLD2 activity in transformed cells with low invasive capabilities.
PMCID: PMC2863589  PMID: 20176813
14.  Lipid phosphate phosphatases dimerise, but this interaction is not required for in vivo activity 
BMC Biochemistry  2004;5:2.
Lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs) are integral membrane proteins believed to dephosphorylate bioactive lipid messengers, so modifying or attenuating their activities. Wunen, a Drosophila LPP homologue, has been shown to play a pivotal role in primordial germ cell (PGC) migration and survival during embryogenesis. It has been hypothesised that LPPs may form oligomeric complexes, and may even function as hexamers. We were interested in exploring this possibility, to confirm whether LPPs can oligomerise, and if they do, whether oligomerisation is required for either in vitro or in vivo activity.
We present evidence that Wunen dimerises, that these associations require the last thirty-five C-terminal amino-acids and depend upon the presence of an intact catalytic site. Expression of a truncated, monomeric form of Wunen in Drosophila embryos results in perturbation of germ cell migration and germ cell loss, as observed for full-length Wunen. We also observed that murine LPP-1 and human LPP-3 can also form associations, but do not form interactions with Wunen or each other. Furthermore, Wunen does not form dimers with its closely related counterpart Wunen-2. Finally we discovered that addition of a trimeric myc tag to the C-terminus of Wunen does not prevent dimerisation or in vitro activity, but does prevent activity in vivo.
LPPs do form complexes, but these do not seem to be specifically required for activity either in vitro or in vivo. Since neither dimerisation nor the C-terminus seem to be involved in substrate recognition, they may instead confer structural or functional stability through dimerisation. The results indicate that the associations we see are highly specific and occur only between monomers of the same protein.
PMCID: PMC319698  PMID: 14725715
Biochemistry  2013;52(30):5092-5102.
Lipins are phosphatidic acid phosphatases involved in the biosynthesis of triacylglycerols and phospholipids. They are associated with the endoplasmic reticulum but can also travel into the nucleus and alter gene expression. Previous studies indicate lipins in solution form high molecular weight complexes, possibly tetramers. This study was undertaken to determine if lipins form complexes on membranes as well. Murine lipin 1b was applied to a supported bilayer of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and cholesterol and examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) over time. Lipin on bare mica appeared as a symmetric particle with a volume consistent with the size of a monomer. On the bilayer lipin initially bound as asymmetric, curved particles which sometimes assembled into circular structures with an open center. Subsequently, lipin assemblies grew into large, symmetric particles with an average volume twelve times that of the monomer. Over time some of the lipin assemblies were removed from the bilayer by the AFM probe leaving behind “footprints” composed of complex patterns that may reflect the substructure of the lipin assemblies. The lipin complexes appeared very flat, with a diameter 20 times their height. The footprints had a similar diameter, providing confirmation of the extensive deformation of the protein under the AFM probe. The ability of lipin to form large complexes on membranes may have significant implications for the local concentrations of the product, diacylglycerol, formed during hydrolysis of phosphatidic acid and for cooperative hormonal regulation of lipin activity through phosphorylation of one or more monomers in the complexes.
PMCID: PMC4041088  PMID: 23862673
16.  Temporal Production of the Signaling Lipid Phosphatidic Acid by Phospholipase D2 Determines the Output of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Signaling in Cancer Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(1):84-95.
The Ras-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) cascade is an important signaling module in cells. One regulator of the Ras-ERK cascade is phosphatidic acid (PA) generated by phospholipase D (PLD) and diacylglycerol kinase (DGK). Using a newly developed PA biosensor, PASS (phosphatidic acid biosensor with superior sensitivity), we found that PA was generated sequentially by PLD and DGK in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated HCC1806 breast cancer cells. Inhibition of PLD2, one of the two PLD members, was sufficient to eliminate most of the PA production, whereas inhibition of DGK decreased PA production only at the later stages of EGF stimulation, suggesting that PLD2 precedes DGK activation. The temporal production of PA by PLD2 is important for the nuclear activation of ERK. While inhibition of both PLD and DGK had no effect on the overall ERK activity, inhibition of PLD2 but not PLD1 or DGK blocked the nuclear ERK activity in several cancer cell lines. The decrease of active ERK in the nucleus inhibited the activation of Elk1, c-fos, and Fra1, the ERK nuclear targets, leading to decreased proliferation of HCC1806 cells. Together, these findings reveal that PA production by PLD2 determines the output of ERK in cancer cell growth factor signaling.
PMCID: PMC3911278  PMID: 24164897
17.  A Phosphatidic Acid Binding/Nuclear Localization Motif Determines Lipin1 Function in Lipid Metabolism and Adipogenesis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(18):3171-3181.
A polybasic motif in the metabolic regulator lipin1 is both a membrane anchor and a nuclear localization sequence required for lipin1 function in phospholipid metabolism and adipogenesis.
Lipins are phosphatidic acid phosphatases with a pivotal role in regulation of triglyceride and glycerophospholipid metabolism. Lipin1 is also an amplifier of PGC-1α, a nuclear coactivator of PPAR-α responsive gene transcription. Lipins do not contain recognized membrane-association domains, but interaction of these enzymes with cellular membranes is necessary for access to their phospholipid substrate. We identified a role for a conserved polybasic amino acid motif in an N-terminal domain previously implicated as a determinant of nuclear localization in selective binding of lipin1β to phosphatidic acid, using blot overlay assays and model bilayer membranes. Studies using lipin1β polybasic motif variants establish that this region is also critical for nuclear import and raise the possibility that nuclear/cytoplasmic shuttling of lipin1β is regulated by PA. We used pharmacological agents and lipin1β polybasic motif mutants to explore the role of PA-mediated membrane association and nuclear localization on lipin1β function in phospholipid metabolism and adipogenic differentiation. We identify a role for the lipin1 polybasic motif as both a lipid binding motif and a primary nuclear localization sequence. These two functions are necessary for full expression of the biological activity of the protein in intracellular lipid metabolism and transcriptional control of adipogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2938383  PMID: 20660155
18.  Temporal and Spatial Regulation of the Phosphatidate Phosphatases Lipin 1 and 2*S⃞ 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2008;283(43):29166-29174.
Lipins are the founding members of a novel family of Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate phosphatases (PAP1 enzymes) that play key roles in fat metabolism and lipid biosynthesis. Despite their importance, there is still little information on how their activity is regulated. Here we demonstrate that the functions of lipin 1 and 2 are evolutionarily conserved from unicellular eukaryotes to mammals. The two lipins display distinct intracellular localization in HeLa M cells, with a pool of lipin 2 exhibiting a tight membrane association. Small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of lipin 1 leads to a dramatic decrease of the cellular PAP1 activity in HeLa M cells, whereas silencing of lipin 2 leads to an increase of lipin 1 levels and PAP1 activity. Consistent with their distinct functions in HeLa M cells, lipin 1 and 2 exhibit reciprocal patterns of protein expression in differentiating 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Lipin 2 levels increase in lipin 1-depleted 3T3-L1 cells without rescuing the adipogenic defects, whereas depletion of lipin 2 does not inhibit adipogenesis. Finally, we show that the PAP1 activity of both lipins is inhibited by phosphorylation during mitosis, leading to a decrease in the cellular PAP1 activity during cell division. We propose that distinct and non-redundant functions of lipin 1 and 2 regulate lipid production during the cell cycle and adipocyte differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2570901  PMID: 18694939
TheScientificWorldJournal  2010;10:1356-1369.
PLD catalyzes the hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine to generate the lipid second messenger phosphatidic acid (PA) and choline. PLD regulation in cells falls into two major signaling categories. One is via growth factors/mitogens like EGF, PDGF, insulin and serum, and implicates tyrosine kinases; the other is by the small GTPase proteins Arf and Rho. We summarize here our lab’s and other groups’ contributions to those pathways and introduce several novel concepts. For the mitogen-induced signaling, new data indicate that an increase in cell transformation in PLD2-overexpressing cells is due to an increase of de novo DNA synthesis induced by PLD2, with the specific tyrosine residues involved in those functions being Y179 and Y511. Recent research has also implicated Grb2 in tyrosine phosphorylation of PLD2 that also involves Sos and the ERK pathway. The target(s) of phosphorylation within the PLD2 molecule that are key to its regulation have recently been precisely mapped. They are Y296, Y415 and Y511 and the responsible kinases are, respectively, EGFR, JAK3 and Src. Y296 is an inhibitory site and its phosphorylation explains the low PLD2 activity that exists in low-invasive MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The other signaling pathway used by PLD involves the small GTPase proteins, Arf and Rho. Advances along this front have implicated cell migration as PLD1 and PLD2 cause an increase in chemotaxis of leukocytes and inflammation. The product of PLD action, phosphatidic acid (PA), is necessary for full chemotaxis. PA enriches the localization of the atypical guanine exchange factor (GEF), DOCK2, at the leading edge of polarized neutrophils. Further, extracellular PA serves as a neutrophil chemoattractant; PA enters the cell and activates the mTOR/S6K pathway (specifically, S6K). A clear connection between PLD with the mTOR/S6K pathway has been established, in that PA binds to mTOR and also PA binds to S6K independently of mTOR. Lastly, there is evidence in the upstream direction of cell signaling: that mTOR and S6K keep PLD2 gene expression function downregulated in basal conditions. In summary, the involvement of PLD2 in cell signaling continues to expand geometrically. It involves gene transcription, mitogenic and cell migration effects as seen in normal growth, tumor development and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3070604  PMID: 20623096
Phospholipase D (PLD); tyrosine kinases; GTPases; Grb2; S6K; mTOR; cell signaling; metastasis; chemotaxis; cell migration; inflammation
20.  Lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 negatively regulates smooth muscle cell phenotypic modulation to limit intimal hyperplasia 
The lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 (LPP3) degrades bioactive lysophospholipids including lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and thereby terminates their signaling effects. While emerging evidence links LPA to atherosclerosis and vascular injury responses, little is known about the role of vascular LPP3.
The goal of this study was to determine the role of LPP3 in the development of vascular neointima formation and smooth muscle cells (SMC) responses.
Methods and Results
We report that LPP3 is expressed in vascular SMC following experimental arterial injury. Using gain- and loss-of-function approaches, we establish that a major function of LPP3 in isolated SMC cells is to attenuate proliferation, (ERK) activity, Rho activation, and migration in response to serum and LPA. These effects are at least partially a consequence of LPP3-catalyzed LPA hydrolysis. Mice with selective inactivation of LPP3 in SMC display an exaggerated neointimal response to injury.
Our observations suggest that LPP3 serves as an intrinsic negative regulator of SMC phenotypic modulation and inflammation after vascular injury, in part by regulating lysophospholipid signaling. These findings may provide a mechanistic link to explain the association between a PPAP2B polymorphism and coronary artery disease risk.
PMCID: PMC3524385  PMID: 23104851
intima; smooth muscle cells; restenosis; proliferation; LPP3
21.  Cardiac lipin 1 expression is regulated by the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ coactivator 1α/estrogen related receptor axis 
Lipin family proteins (lipin 1, 2, and 3) are bifunctional intracellular proteins that regulate metabolism by acting as coregulators of DNA-bound transcription factors and also dephosphorylate phosphatidate to form diacylglycerol [phosphatidate phosphohydrolase activity] in the triglyceride synthesis pathway. Herein, we report that lipin 1 is enriched in heart and that hearts of mice lacking lipin 1 (fld mice) exhibit accumulation of phosphatidate. We also demonstrate that the expression of the gene encoding lipin 1 (Lpin1) is under the control of the estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) and their coactivator the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). PGC-1α, ERRα, or ERRγ overexpression increased Lpin1 transcription in cultured ventricular myocytes and the ERRs were associated with response elements in the first intron of the Lpin1 gene. Concomitant RNAi-mediated knockdown of ERRα and ERRγ abrogated the induction of lipin 1 expression by PGC-1α overexpression. Consistent with these data, 3-fold overexpression of PGC-1α in intact myocardium of transgenic mice increased cardiac lipin 1 and ERRα/γ expression. Similarly, injection of the β2-adrenergic agonist clenbuterol induced PGC-1α and lipin 1 expression, and the induction in lipin 1 after clenbuterol occurred in a PGC-1α-dependent manner. In contrast, expression of PGC-1α, ERRα, ERRγ, and lipin 1 was down-regulated in failing heart. Cardiac phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase activity was also diminished, while cardiac phosphatidate content was increased, in failing heart. Collectively, these data suggest that lipin 1 is the principal lipin protein in the myocardium and is regulated in response to physiologic and pathologic stimuli that impact cardiac metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3104300  PMID: 21549711
lipin; PGC-1α; metabolism; heart failure
22.  Negative control of mast cell degranulation and the anaphylactic response by the phosphatase lipin1 
European journal of immunology  2012;43(1):240-248.
Mast cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. How mast cell function is regulated is still not well understood. Both phosphatidic acid (PA) and diacylglycerol (DAG) are important second messengers involved in mast cell activation. Lipin1 is a phosphatidate phosphatase that hydrolyzes PA to produce DAG. The role of lipin1 in mast cell function has been unknown. In this report, we show that lipin1 is an important and selective inhibitor of mast cell degranulation. Lipin1 deficiency enhanced FcεRI-mediated β-hexosaminidase and prostaglandin D2 release from mast cells in vitro and exacerbated the passive systemic anaphylaxis reaction in vivo. However, Lipin1 deficiency did not exert obvious effects on IL-6 or TNF-α production following FcεRI engagement. FcεRI-induced PKC and SNAP-23 phosphorylation was augmented in the lipin1-deficient mast cells. Moreover, inhibition of PKC activity reduced SNAP-23 phosphorylation and mast cell degranulation in lipin1 deficient mast cells. Together, our findings suggest that lipin1 may negatively control mast cell degranulation and anaphylactic response through inhibiting the PKC-SNAP-23 pathway.
PMCID: PMC3748934  PMID: 23065777
Mast cells; lipin1; Phosphatidic acid; PKC; SNAP-23
23.  Inactivation of the Host Lipin Gene Accelerates RNA Virus Replication through Viral Exploitation of the Expanded Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(2):e1003944.
RNA viruses take advantage of cellular resources, such as membranes and lipids, to assemble viral replicase complexes (VRCs) that drive viral replication. The host lipins (phosphatidate phosphatases) are particularly interesting because these proteins play key roles in cellular decisions about membrane biogenesis versus lipid storage. Therefore, we examined the relationship between host lipins and tombusviruses, based on yeast model host. We show that deletion of PAH1 (phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase), which is the single yeast homolog of the lipin gene family of phosphatidate phosphatases, whose inactivation is responsible for proliferation and expansion of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, facilitates robust RNA virus replication in yeast. We document increased tombusvirus replicase activity in pah1Δ yeast due to the efficient assembly of VRCs. We show that the ER membranes generated in pah1Δ yeast is efficiently subverted by this RNA virus, thus emphasizing the connection between host lipins and RNA viruses. Thus, instead of utilizing the peroxisomal membranes as observed in wt yeast and plants, TBSV readily switches to the vastly expanded ER membranes in lipin-deficient cells to build VRCs and support increased level of viral replication. Over-expression of the Arabidopsis Pah2p in Nicotiana benthamiana decreased tombusvirus accumulation, validating that our findings are also relevant in a plant host. Over-expression of AtPah2p also inhibited the ER-based replication of another plant RNA virus, suggesting that the role of lipins in RNA virus replication might include several more eukaryotic viruses.
Author Summary
Genetic diseases alter cellular pathways and they likely influence pathogen-host interactions as well. To test the relationship between a key cellular gene, whose mutation causes genetic diseases, and a pathogen, the authors have chosen the cellular lipins. Lipins are involved in a key cellular decision on using lipids for membrane biogenesis or for storage. Spontaneous mutations in the LIPIN1 gene in mammals, which cause impaired lipin-1 function, contribute to common metabolic dysregulation and several major diseases, such as obesity, hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver distrophy and hypertension. In this work, the authors tested if tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV), which, similar to many (+)RNA viruses, depends on host membrane biogenesis, is affected by deletion of the single lipin gene (PAH1) in yeast model host. They show that pah1Δ yeast supports increased replication of TBSV. They demonstrate that TBSV takes advantage of the expanded ER membranes in lipin-deficient yeast to efficiently assemble viral replicase complexes. Their findings suggest possible positive effect of a genetic disease caused by mutation on the replication of an infectious agent.
PMCID: PMC3930575  PMID: 24586157
24.  Phospholipase D Family Member 4, a Transmembrane Glycoprotein with No Phospholipase D Activity, Expression in Spleen and Early Postnatal Microglia 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e13932.
Phospholipase D (PLD) catalyzes conversion of phosphatidylcholine into choline and phosphatidic acid, leading to a variety of intracellular signal transduction events. Two classical PLDs, PLD1 and PLD2, contain phosphatidylinositide-binding PX and PH domains and two conserved His-x-Lys-(x)4-Asp (HKD) motifs, which are critical for PLD activity. PLD4 officially belongs to the PLD family, because it possesses two HKD motifs. However, it lacks PX and PH domains and has a putative transmembrane domain instead. Nevertheless, little is known regarding expression, structure, and function of PLD4.
Methodology/Principal Findings
PLD4 was analyzed in terms of expression, structure, and function. Expression was analyzed in developing mouse brains and non-neuronal tissues using microarray, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and immunocytochemistry. Structure was evaluated using bioinformatics analysis of protein domains, biochemical analyses of transmembrane property, and enzymatic deglycosylation. PLD activity was examined by choline release and transphosphatidylation assays. Results demonstrated low to modest, but characteristic, PLD4 mRNA expression in a subset of cells preferentially localized around white matter regions, including the corpus callosum and cerebellar white matter, during the first postnatal week. These PLD4 mRNA-expressing cells were identified as Iba1-positive microglia. In non-neuronal tissues, PLD4 mRNA expression was widespread, but predominantly distributed in the spleen. Intense PLD4 expression was detected around the marginal zone of the splenic red pulp, and splenic PLD4 protein recovered from subcellular membrane fractions was highly N-glycosylated. PLD4 was heterologously expressed in cell lines and localized in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Moreover, heterologously expressed PLD4 proteins did not exhibit PLD enzymatic activity.
Results showed that PLD4 is a non-PLD, HKD motif-carrying, transmembrane glycoprotein localized in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. The spatiotemporally restricted expression patterns suggested that PLD4 might play a role in common function(s) among microglia during early postnatal brain development and splenic marginal zone cells.
PMCID: PMC2978679  PMID: 21085684
25.  The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Lipin Homolog is a Mg2+-dependent Phosphatidate Phosphatase Enzyme* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2006;281(14):9210-9218.
Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate (PA) phosphatase (3-sn-phosphatidate phosphohydrolase, EC catalyzes the dephosphorylation of PA to yield diacylglycerol and Pi. In this work, we identified the Saccharomyces cerevisiae PAH1 (previously known as SMP2) gene that encodes Mg2+-dependent PA phosphatase using amino acid sequence information derived from a purified preparation of the enzyme (Lin, Y.-P., and Carman, G.M. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 8641–8645). Overexpression of PAH1 in S. cerevisiae directed elevated levels of Mg2+-dependent PA phosphatase activity, whereas the pah1Δ mutation caused reduced levels of enzyme activity. Heterologous expression of PAH1 in Escherichia coli confirmed that Pah1p is a Mg2+-dependent PA phosphatase enzyme, and showed that its enzymological properties were very similar to those of the enzyme purified from S. cerevisiae. The PAH1-encoded enzyme activity was associated with both the membrane and cytosolic fractions of the cell, and the membrane-bound form of the enzyme was salt-extractable. Lipid analysis showed that mutants lacking PAH1 accumulated PA, and had reduced amounts of diacylglycerol and its derivative triacylglycerol. The PAH1-encoded Mg2+-dependent PA phosphatase shows homology to mammalian lipin, a fat-regulating protein whose molecular function is unknown. Heterologous expression of human LPIN1 in E. coli showed that lipin 1 is also a Mg2+-dependent PA phosphatase enzyme.
PMCID: PMC1424669  PMID: 16467296

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