Arabidopsis AT3G11620 is an evolutionarily conserved protein involved in facilitating the intracellular distribution of lipid droplets

Watt, Samantha
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University of Guelph

Cytosolic lipid droplets (LDs) are found in all eukaryotic cells, and serve primarily in lipid storage. While the molecular mechanisms underlying LD biogenesis are somewhat understood, relatively few proteins involved have been identified, especially in plants. Here we took advantage of the conserved nature of LDs across diverse organisms to identify an Arabidopsis protein, AT3G11620, whose homolog in Drosophila was recently shown to be important for lipid storage and LD distribution. Here we show that AT3G11620 is expressed throughout Arabidopsis development and, similar to its fly counterpart, localizes to both the endoplasmic reticulum and LDs, the latter of which are altered in terms of their size, number and/or distribution when AT3G11620 is misexpressed. Together, these results and those from experiments investigating the LD targeting information in AT3G11620, and its potential protein-binding partners, provides new insights to the possible role of this protein in controlling the intracellular distribution of LDs.

lipid droplets, Arabidopsis, lipids, plant lipids