Docosahexaenoic acid selectively inhibits plasma membrane targeting of lipidated proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Membrane localization of lipidated cytosolic signaling proteins is mediated by interactions between specific lipid anchors and membranes, but little is known about the regulatory role of membrane composition in lipidated protein membrane targeting. Here, using green fluorescent protein (GFP) chimeras and quantitative fluorescence microscopy in living mouse colonocytes, we show that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) with membrane lipid-modifying properties, selectively inhibits plasma membrane (PM) targeting and increases the endomembrane localization of lipidated proteins that are cytoplasmic cargo in the exocytic pathway, without affecting the exocytic pathway itself. DHA selectivity seems to be dictated by the protein trafficking route, independent of the functional state of proteins and the location and composition of membrane anchors. DHA enrichment in cell membranes was required to elicit the inhibitory effect. These data reveal that membrane lipid composition influences cell signaling by modulating intracellular trafficking and localization of membrane proteins, providing a potential molecular mechanism for the documented health benefits of DHA.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Seo, J., Barhoumi, R., Johnson, A. E., Lupton, J. R., & Chapkin, R. S.

citation count

  • 54

complete list of authors

  • Seo, Jeongmin||Barhoumi, Rola||Johnson, Arthur E||Lupton, Joanne R||Chapkin, Robert S

publication date

  • April 2006