The yeast plasma membrane P4-ATPases are major transporters for lysophospholipids

Wayne R. Riekhof, Dennis R. Voelker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The transbilayer movement of phospholipids plays an essential role in establishing and maintaining the asymmetric distribution of lipids in biological membranes. The P4-ATPase family has been implicated as the major transporters of the aminoglycerophospholipids in both surface and endomembrane systems. Historically, fluorescent lipid analogs have been used to monitor the lipid transport activity of the P4-ATPases. Recent evidence now demonstrates that lyso-phosphatidylethanolamine (lyso-PtdEtn) and lyso-phosphatidylcholine (lyso-PtdCho) are bona fide biological substrates transported by the yeast plasma membrane ATPases, Dnf1p and Dnf2p, in consort with a second protein Lem3p. Subsequent to transport, the lysophospholipids are acylated by the enzyme Ale1p to produce PtdEtn and PtdCho. The transport of the lysophospholipids occurs at rates sufficient to support all the PtdEtn and PtdCho synthesis required for rapid cell growth. The lysophospholipid transporters also utilize the anti-neoplastic and anti-parasitic ether lipid substrates related to edelfosine. The identification of biological substrates for the plasma membrane ATPases coupled with the power of yeast genetics now provides new tools to dissect the structure and function of the aminoglycerophospholipid transporters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-627
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Edelfosine
  • Flippase
  • Golgi
  • Lipid transport
  • Lysophospholipid
  • Membrane asymmetry
  • Membrane biogenesis
  • Miltefosine
  • P-type ATPase
  • Secretion
  • Trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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