Nuclear Envelope Phosphatase 1-regulatory Subunit 1 (Formerly TMEM188) Is the Metazoan Spo7p Ortholog and Functions in the Lipin Activation Pathway

J Biol Chem. 2012 Jan 27;287(5):3123-37. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.324350. Epub 2011 Dec 1.


Lipin-1 catalyzes the formation of diacylglycerol from phosphatidic acid. Lipin-1 mutations cause lipodystrophy in mice and acute myopathy in humans. It is heavily phosphorylated, and the yeast ortholog Pah1p becomes membrane-associated and active upon dephosphorylation by the Nem1p-Spo7p membrane complex. A mammalian ortholog of Nem1p is the C-terminal domain nuclear envelope phosphatase 1 (CTDNEP1, formerly "dullard"), but its Spo7p-like partner is unknown, and the need for its existence is debated. Here, we identify the metazoan ortholog of Spo7p, TMEM188, renamed nuclear envelope phosphatase 1-regulatory subunit 1 (NEP1-R1). CTDNEP1 and NEP1-R1 together complement a nem1Δspo7Δ strain to block endoplasmic reticulum proliferation and restore triacylglycerol levels and lipid droplet number. The two human orthologs are in a complex in cells, and the amount of CTDNEP1 is increased in the presence of NEP1-R1. In the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo, expression of nematode CTDNEP1 and NEP1-R1, as well as lipin-1, is required for normal nuclear membrane breakdown after zygote formation. The expression pattern of NEP1-R1 and CTDNEP1 in human and mouse tissues closely mirrors that of lipin-1. CTDNEP1 can dephosphorylate lipins-1a, -1b, and -2 in human cells only in the presence of NEP1-R1. The nuclear fraction of lipin-1b is increased when CTDNEP1 and NEP1-R1 are co-expressed. Therefore, NEP1-R1 is functionally conserved from yeast to humans and functions in the lipin activation pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Envelope / enzymology
  • Nuclear Envelope / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidate Phosphatase / genetics
  • Phosphatidate Phosphatase / metabolism*
  • Protein Phosphatase 1 / genetics
  • Protein Phosphatase 1 / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • SPO7 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Protein Phosphatase 1
  • LPIN1 protein, human
  • Lpin1 protein, mouse
  • Phosphatidate Phosphatase