Lipidomics reveals that adiposomes store ether lipids and mediate phospholipid traffic

René Bartz, Wen Hong Li, Barney Venables, John K. Zehmer, Mary R. Roth, Ruth Welti, Richard G W Anderson, Pingsheng Liu, Kent D. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

270 Scopus citations


Lipid droplets are accumulations of neutral lipids surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipids and associated proteins. Recent proteomic analysis of isolated droplets suggests that they are part of a dynamic organelle system that is involved in membrane traffic as well as packaging and distributing lipids in the cell. To gain a better insight into the function of droplets, we used a combination of mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy to characterize the lipid composition of this compartment. In addition to cholesteryl esters and triacylglycerols with mixed fatty acid composition, we found that ∼10-20% of the neutral lipids were the ether lipid monoalk(en)yl diacylglycerol. Although lipid droplets contain only 1-2% phospholipids by weight, >160 molecular species were identified and quantified. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) was the most abundant class, followed by phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylinositol, and ether-linked phosphatidylcholine (ePC). Relative to total membrane, droplet phospholipids were enriched in lysoPE, lysoPC, and PC but deficient in sphingomyelin, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidic acid. These results suggest that droplets play a central role in ether lipid metabolism and intracellular lipid traffic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-847
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


  • Lipid droplet
  • Membranes
  • Phospholipid turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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    Bartz, R., Li, W. H., Venables, B., Zehmer, J. K., Roth, M. R., Welti, R., Anderson, R. G. W., Liu, P., & Chapman, K. D. (2007). Lipidomics reveals that adiposomes store ether lipids and mediate phospholipid traffic. Journal of lipid research, 48(4), 837-847.