Lipid droplet dynamics during Schizosaccharomyces pombe sporulation and their role in spore survival

Biol Open. 2017 Feb 15;6(2):217-222. doi: 10.1242/bio.022384.


Upon nitrogen starvation, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe forms dormant spores; however, the mechanisms by which a spore sustains life without access to exogenous nutrients remain unclear. Lipid droplets are reservoirs of neutral lipids that act as important cellular energy resources. Using live-cell imaging analysis, we found that the lipid droplets of mother cells redistribute to their nascent spores. Notably, this process was actin polymerization-dependent and facilitated by the leading edge proteins of the forespore membrane. Spores lacking triacylglycerol synthesis, which is essential for lipid droplet formation, failed to germinate. Our results suggest that the lipid droplets are important for the sustenance of life in spores.

Keywords: Actin; Forespore membrane; Germination; Lipid droplet; Septation initiation network; Spore.