Most mammalian cells package neutral lipids into droplets that are surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipids and a specific set of proteins including the adipose differentiation-related protein (ADRP; also called adipophilin), which is found in a wide array of cell types, and the perilipins, which are restricted to adipocytes and steroidogenic cells. TIP47 was initially identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen for proteins that interact with the cytoplasmic tail of the mannose 6-phosphate receptor, yet its sequence is highly similar to the lipid droplet protein, ADRP, and more distantly related to perilipins. Hence, we hypothesized that TIP47 might be associated with lipid droplets. In HeLa cells grown in standard low lipid-containing culture media, immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the cells had few lipid droplets; however, TIP47 and ADRP were found on the surfaces of the small lipid droplets present. When the cells were grown in media supplemented with physiological levels of fatty acids, the amount of neutral lipid stored in lipid droplets increased dramatically, as did the staining of TIP47 and ADRP surrounding these droplets. TIP47 was found primarily in the cytosolic fractions of HeLa cells and murine MA10 Leydig cells grown in low lipid-containing culture medium, while ADRP was undetectable in these fractionated cell homogenates. When HeLa and MA10 Leydig cells were lipid-loaded, significant levels of ADRP were found in the floating lipid droplet fractions and TIP47 levels remained constant, but the distribution of a significant portion of TIP47 shifted from the cytosolic fractions to the lipid droplet fractions. Thus, we conclude that TIP47 associates with nascent lipid droplets and can be classified as a lipid droplet-associated protein.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology