These walls are worth the cost

Published September 01 2019


  • Lipid droplet proteome dynamics and lipotoxicity — James Olzmann, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mechanistic approaches towards understanding physicochemical membrane homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum — Robert Ernst, Saarland University
  • The role of VPS13 and related proteins in glycerolipid transport at membrane contact sites — Karin Reinisch, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Cold-induced lipid dynamics in thermogenic fat — Yu-Hua Tseng, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School
  • Membrane proteins — the lipid connection — Carol Robinson, University of Oxford
  • Structural basis of lipid scrambling and ion conduction by TMEM16 scramblases — Alessio Accardi, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Structural insights into TRPV channel gating — Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, University of Pennsylvania
  • Cardiolipin-dependent carriers — Steven Claypool, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Seipin in lipid mobilization and lipodystrophy — Weiqin Chen, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
  • The role of organelle contact during Chlamydia developmental cycle — Isabelle Derré, University of Virginia
  • Cardiolipin exerts tissue-specific control over systemic energy homeostasis — Zachary Gerhart-Hines, University of Copenhagen
  • SPTLC1 mutations associated with early onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — Teresa Dunn, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Are you the type of person who feels comforted by being within the walls of your living space? Similar to us in our homes, cells are separated from each other by lipid membranes that also encapsulate the various collection of organelles therein. However, lipid membranes are much more than simple barriers. Different membrane-bound structures have distinct lipid compositions that confer identity, are dynamic and adaptable, communicate extensively with one another through physical contact sites, and provide an energy-rich storage depot available when times are rough. Further, like the doors and windows in your house, membrane proteins provide a means by which the two sides demarcated by a lipid bilayer can communicate.

An exciting emerging principle is that specific lipids are required for the activity of many membrane proteins. The goal of this session is to showcase the multitude of hats worn by lipids in both health and disease.

Keywords: lipids, membrane dynamics, homeostatic mechanisms, lipid metabolism, membrane proteins.

Who should attend: anyone who feels underappreciated, because that is exactly how lipids and their researchers have felt for decades; people unafraid of grease — and those who are, too.

Theme song: “Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill.

This session is powered by Vaseline.

Steven Claypool Steven Claypool is an associate professor in the department of physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Teresa Dunn–Giroux Teresa Dunn–Giroux is professor and chair of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.