Lipidomics Analyses Reveal Temporal and Spatial Lipid Organization and Uncover Daily Oscillations in Intracellular Organelles

Mol Cell. 2016 May 19;62(4):636-48. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.04.002. Epub 2016 May 5.


Cells have evolved mechanisms to handle incompatible processes through temporal organization by circadian clocks and by spatial compartmentalization within organelles defined by lipid bilayers. Recent advances in lipidomics have led to identification of plentiful lipid species, yet our knowledge regarding their spatiotemporal organization is lagging behind. In this study, we quantitatively characterized the nuclear and mitochondrial lipidome in mouse liver throughout the day, upon different feeding regimens, and in clock-disrupted mice. Our analyses revealed potential connections between lipid species within and between lipid classes. Remarkably, we uncovered diurnal oscillations in lipid accumulation in the nucleus and mitochondria. These oscillations exhibited opposite phases and readily responded to feeding time. Furthermore, we found that the circadian clock coordinates the phase relation between the organelles. In summary, our study provides temporal and spatial depiction of lipid organization and reveals the presence and coordination of diurnal rhythmicity in intracellular organelles.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Circadian Rhythm* / genetics
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Genotype
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism*
  • Period Circadian Proteins / genetics
  • Period Circadian Proteins / metabolism
  • Periodicity*
  • Phenotype
  • Time Factors


  • Per1 protein, mouse
  • Per2 protein, mouse
  • Period Circadian Proteins