Phospholipid transport protein function at organelle contact sites

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2018 Aug;53:52-60. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2018 May 30.


Phospholipids are synthesized at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the largest membrane bound organelle that forms membrane contact sites (MCS) with almost every other organelle. MCS are locations at which the membrane es of two organelles are closely positioned to provide a microenvironment where proteins in one membrane can interact with the opposite membrane. Thus, MCS provide an ideal location at which lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) can achieve the efficient transfer of individual classes of lipids from the ER to other organelles via non-vesicular transport. Here we provide an overview of emerging findings on the localization and biochemical activity of LTPs at MCS between the ER and other cellular membranes. The localization of LTPs at MCS offers an elegant cell biological solution to tune local lipid composition to ongoing cell physiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Phospholipid Transfer Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*


  • Phospholipid Transfer Proteins
  • Phospholipids