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VPS13A and VPS13C Influence Lipid Droplet Abundance


Lipid transfer proteins mediate the exchange of lipids between closely apposed membranes at organelle contact sites and play key roles in lipid metabolism, membrane homeostasis, and cellular signaling. A recently discovered novel family of lipid transfer proteins, which includes the VPS13 proteins (VPS13A-D), adopt a rod-like bridge conformation with an extended hydrophobic groove that enables the bulk transfer of membrane lipids for membrane growth. Loss of function mutations in VPS13A and VPS13C cause chorea acanthocytosis and Parkinson's disease, respectively. VPS13A and VPS13C localize to multiple organelle contact sites, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) - lipid droplet (LD) contact sites, but the functional roles of these proteins in LD regulation remains mostly unexplored. Here we employ CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to generate VPS13A and VPS13C knockout cell lines in U-2 OS cells via deletion of exon 2 and introduction of an early frameshift. Analysis of LD content in these cell lines revealed that loss of either VPS13A or VPS13C results in reduced LD abundance under oleate-stimulated conditions. These data implicate two lipid transfer proteins, VPS13A and VPS13C, in LD regulation.

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