Dividing cells regulate their lipid composition and localization.

PMID 24462247


Although massive membrane rearrangements occur during cell division, little is known about specific roles that lipids might play in this process. We report that the lipidome changes with the cell cycle. LC-MS-based lipid profiling shows that 11 lipids with specific chemical structures accumulate in dividing cells. Using AFM, we demonstrate differences in the mechanical properties of live dividing cells and their isolated lipids relative to nondividing cells. In parallel, systematic RNAi knockdown of lipid biosynthetic enzymes identified enzymes required for division, which highly correlated with lipids accumulated in dividing cells. We show that cells specifically regulate the localization of lipids to midbodies, membrane-based structures where cleavage occurs. We conclude that cells actively regulate and modulate their lipid composition and localization during division, with both signaling and structural roles likely. This work has broader implications for the active and sustained participation of lipids in basic biology.