Different mechanisms for selective transport of fatty acids using a single class of lipoprotein in Drosophila

J Lipid Res. 2019 Jul;60(7):1199-1211. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M090779. Epub 2019 May 13.


In mammals, lipids are selectively transported to specific sites using multiple classes of lipoproteins. However, in Drosophila, a single class of lipoproteins, lipophorin, carries more than 95% of the lipids in the hemolymph. Although a unique ability of the insect lipoprotein system for cargo transport has been demonstrated, it remains unclear how this single class of lipoproteins selectively transports lipids. In this study, we carried out a comparative analysis of the fatty-acid composition among lipophorin, the CNS, and CNS-derived cell lines and investigated the transport mechanism of fatty acids, particularly focusing on the transport of PUFAs in Drosophila We showed that PUFAs are selectively incorporated into the acyl chains of lipophorin phospholipids and effectively transported to CNS through lipophorin receptor-mediated endocytosis of lipophorin. In addition, we demonstrated that C14 fatty acids are selectively incorporated into the diacylglycerols (DAGs) of lipophorin and that C14 fatty-acid-containing DAGs are spontaneously transferred from lipophorin to the phospholipid bilayer. These results suggest that PUFA-containing phospholipids and C14 fatty-acid-containing DAGs in lipophorin could be transferred to different sites by different mechanisms to selectively transport fatty acids using a single class of lipoproteins.

Keywords: diacylglycerol; lipophorin; lipoprotein receptors; omega-3 fatty acids; phospholipids; polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diglycerides / metabolism*
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Receptors, Lipoprotein / metabolism*


  • Diglycerides
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lipoproteins
  • Phospholipids
  • Receptors, Lipoprotein
  • lipophorin