Merck

Stable reduction of STARD4 alters cholesterol regulation and lipid homeostasis.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular and cell biology of lipids (2020-01-10)
David B Iaea, Zachary R Spahr, Rajesh K Singh, Robin B Chan, Bowen Zhou, Rohan Bareja, Olivier Elemento, Gilbert Di Paolo, Xiaoxue Zhang, Frederick R Maxfield
要旨

STARD4, a member of the evolutionarily conserved START gene family, is a soluble sterol transport protein implicated in cholesterol sensing and maintenance of cellular homeostasis. STARD4 is widely expressed and has been shown to transfer sterol between liposomes as well as organelles in cells. However, STARD4 knockout mice lack an obvious phenotype, so the overall role of STARD4 is unclear. To model long term depletion of STARD4 in cells, we use short hairpin RNA technology to stably decrease STARD4 expression in human U2OS osteosarcoma cells (STARD4-KD). We show that STARD4-KD cells display increased total cholesterol, slower cholesterol trafficking between the plasma membrane and the endocytic recycling compartment, and increased plasma membrane fluidity. These effects can all be rescued by transient expression of a short hairpin RNA-resistant STARD4 construct. Some of the cholesterol increase was due to excess storage in late endosomes or lysosomes. To understand the effects of reduced STARD4, we carried out transcriptional and lipidomic profiling of control and STARD4-KD cells. Reduction of STARD4 activates compensatory mechanisms that alter membrane composition and lipid homeostasis. Based on these observations, we propose that STARD4 functions as a critical sterol transport protein involved in sterol sensing and maintaining lipid homeostasis.

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Sigma-Aldrich
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