Bridging gaps in phospholipid transport

Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Jul;30(7):396-404. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2005.05.008.


Phospholipid transport between membranes is a fundamental aspect of organelle biogenesis in eukaryotes; however, little is know about this process. A significant body of data demonstrates that newly synthesized phospholipids can move between membranes by routes that are independent of the vesicular traffic that carries membrane proteins. Evidence continues to accumulate in support of a system for phospholipid transport that occurs at zones of apposition and contact between donor membranes - the source of specific phospholipids - and acceptor membranes that are unable to synthesize the necessary lipids. Recent findings identify some of the lipids and proteins that must be present on membranes for inter-organelle phospholipid transport to occur between the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria or Golgi. These data suggest that protein and lipid assemblies on donors and acceptors promote membrane docking and facilitate lipid movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*
  • Yeasts


  • Phospholipids