Lipid droplet biogenesis is spatially coordinated at ER–vacuole contacts under nutritional stress

Hanaa Hariri, Sean Rogers, Rupali Ugrankar, Yang Lydia Liu, J. Ryan Feathers, W. Mike Henne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Eukaryotic cells store lipids in cytosolic organelles known as lipid droplets (LDs). Lipid droplet bud from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and may be harvested by the vacuole for energy during prolonged periods of starvation. How cells spatially coordinate LD production is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that yeast ER–vacuole contact sites (NVJs) physically expand in response to metabolic stress, and serve as sites for LD production. NVJ tether Mdm1 demarcates sites of LD budding, and interacts with fatty acyl-CoA synthases at the NVJ periphery. Artificially expanding the NVJ through over-expressing Mdm1 is sufficient to drive NVJ-associated LD production, whereas ablating the NVJ induces defects in fatty acid-to-triglyceride production. Collectively, our data suggest a tight metabolic link between nutritional stress and LD biogenesis that is spatially coordinated at ER–vacuole contact sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • endoplasmic reticulum
  • lipid droplet
  • membrane contact site
  • nuclear ER–vacuole junction
  • nutritional stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this