Yeast membrane lipid imbalance leads to trafficking defects toward the Golgi


Protein recycling is an essential cellular process involving endocytosis, intracellular trafficking, and exocytosis. In mammalian systems membrane lipids, including cholesterol, sphingolipids, and phospholipids, play a pivotal role in protein recycling. To address this role in budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we utilized GFP-Snc1, a v-SNARE protein serving as a fluorescent marker for faithfully reporting the recycling pathway. Here we demonstrate results that display moderate to significant GFP-Snc1 recycling defects upon overexpression or inactivation of phospholipid, ergosterol, and sphingolipid biosynthesis enzymes, indicating that the homeostasis of membrane lipid levels is prerequisite for proper protein recycling. By using a truncated version of GFP-Snc1 that cannot be recycled from the plasma membrane, we determined that abnormalities in Snc1 localization in membrane lipid overexpression or underexpression mutants are not due to defects in the synthetic/secretory pathway, but rather in the intracellular trafficking pathway. We found that membrane lipid imbalance resulted in an accumulation of the late endosome marker Vps10-GFP, indicating trafficking from the endosomes to the Golgi may be being hindered, preventing recycling to the plasma membrane. To elucidate the possible mechanism for this trafficking hindrance, we stained the actin cytoskeleton, then quantified the percentage of cells with visible actin cables. Compared to wild-type cells, membrane lipid mutant cells exhibited lower levels of actin cables, indicating the actin cytoskeleton is disrupted upon membrane lipid imbalance. Taken together, our results show that impairment of proper recycling may be due to disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, which causes trafficking hindrance between the endosomes and Golgi.



Document Type




cholesterol, endosome, Golgi, lipids, retrograde traffic, Snc1

Publication Date


Journal Title

Cell Biology International