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Co-compartmentalization of MAP kinases and cytosolic phospholipase A2 at cytoplasmic arachidonate-rich lipid bodies.


Lipid bodies are inducible lipid domains abundantly present in leukocytes engaged in inflammation. They are rich in esterified arachidonate and are also potential sites for eicosanoid-forming enzyme localization. It is therefore of interest to know whether arachidonate-releasing cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) localizes at lipid bodies. Here, we present evidence that cPLA2 and its activating protein kinases, mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, co-localize at lipid bodies. U937 cells express high levels of cPLA2 and contain numerous cytoplasmic lipid bodies. Using double-labeling immunocytochemistry we demonstrated punctate cytoplasmic localizations of both cPLA2 and MAP kinases in U937 cells that were perfectly concordant with fluorescent fatty-acid-labeled lipid bodies. The co-localization of cPLA2 and MAP kinases at lipid bodies was confirmed by subcellular fractionation and immunoblot. Lipid body fractions free of cytosol and other organelles contained significant amounts of [14C]arachidonate-labeled phosphatidylcholine and cPLA2 enzymatic activities. Immunoblotting with specific antibodies identified cPLA2 as well as MAP kinases, including ERK1, ERK2, p85, and p38, in lipid bodies. The co-compartmentalization within arachidonate-rich lipid bodies of cPLA2 and its potentially activating protein kinases suggests that lipid bodies may be structurally distinct intracellular sites active in extracellular ligand-induced arachidonate release and eicosanoid formation.

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