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Phosphatidic Acid Is a pH Biosensor That Links Membrane Biogenesis to Metabolism

Science  27 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5995, pp. 1085-1088
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191026

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Abstract

Recognition of lipids by proteins is important for their targeting and activation in many signaling pathways, but the mechanisms that regulate such interactions are largely unknown. Here, we found that binding of proteins to the ubiquitous signaling lipid phosphatidic acid (PA) depended on intracellular pH and the protonation state of its phosphate headgroup. In yeast, a rapid decrease in intracellular pH in response to glucose starvation regulated binding of PA to a transcription factor, Opi1, that coordinately repressed phospholipid metabolic genes. This enabled coupling of membrane biogenesis to nutrient availability.

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