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Ultralow Background Membrane Editors for Spatiotemporal Control of Phosphatidic Acid Metabolism and Signaling.

ACS Central Science 2024 March 28
Phosphatidic acid (PA) is a multifunctional lipid with important metabolic and signaling functions, and efforts to dissect its pleiotropy demand strategies for perturbing its levels with spatiotemporal precision. Previous membrane editing approaches for generating local PA pools used light-mediated induced proximity to recruit a PA-synthesizing enzyme, phospholipase D (PLD), from the cytosol to the target organelle membrane. Whereas these optogenetic PLDs exhibited high activity, their residual activity in the dark led to undesired chronic lipid production. Here, we report ultralow background membrane editors for PA wherein light directly controls PLD catalytic activity, as opposed to localization and access to substrates, exploiting a light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) domain-based conformational photoswitch inserted into the PLD sequence and enabling their stable and nonperturbative targeting to multiple organelle membranes. By coupling organelle-targeted LOVPLD activation to lipidomics analysis, we discovered different rates of metabolism for PA and its downstream products depending on the subcellular location of PA production. We also elucidated signaling roles for PA pools on different membranes in conferring local activation of AMP-activated protein kinase signaling. This work illustrates how membrane editors featuring acute, optogenetic conformational switches can provide new insights into organelle-selective lipid metabolic and signaling pathways.

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