Lipids and lipid signaling

Lipids continue to surprise us

It has become increasingly clear that lipids play key roles as structural, signaling and regulatory molecules. Understanding pathways of lipid metabolism regulation is fundamental to deciphering how cells and organisms grow, develop and respond to external stimuli. Four sessions of the 2016 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting in San Diego will feature leaders in the research of lipid function in health and disease.

Membrane contact sites and lipid trafficking

Recent breakthroughs in cell biology highlight that many cellular organelles are in tight, molecular contact. A major, emerging function of these organellar contact sites is transport of lipids. The first session will highlight the molecular architecture and physiological functions of membrane contact sites.

Lipid membrane regulation

Maintaining membrane homeostasis is important for cellular organization and integrity. In this session, leaders in the field will present the importance of posttranslational regulation of phosphatidic acid and phosphoinositide metabolism enzymes in maintaining lipid homeostasis. We also will hear the latest on the transcriptional regulation of lipid metabolism by sterol regulatory element-binding proteins, or SREBPs.

Lipid signaling

Signaling lipids control many cellular processes including cell growth, apoptosis and metabolism. This session will feature the diverse signaling mechanisms of lipids, focusing on nuclear and G protein-coupled receptors as paradigms. The presentations will extend to cover the key roles of some signaling lipids in obesity and diabetes.

Lipids and energy metabolism

Neutral lipids are essential to the storage of metabolic energy. The final session highlights advances in the understanding of cellular lipid storage mechanisms. It will provide insights into synthesis and regulation of fatty acids, their desaturation, and how these mechanisms affect whole-body energy metabolism as well as insulin signaling.


James Ntambi

James Ntambi, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tobias Walther

Tobias Walther, Harvard University