Today, much of the biology of cell lipid composition is a black box for scientists. Although lipids are a major group of biomolecules, they are difficult to study because their synthesis is regulated by a complicated metabolism.
Now, researchers from the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) of the Department of Energy, Berkeley Lab and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Biosustain) have found a way to develop the fat membranes of cells. Researchers increased the ability of cells to produce large amounts of liquid fats, called unsaturated lipids. This increased the membrane respiration as well as the growth rate of the cell.
This knowledge could be an advantage if the cellular work animals E. coli or baker's yeast are developed for the production of biofuels, biochemicals or biopharmaceuticals. Therefore, this method could become very important in industries that work with cell factories.
The research has now been published in Science .
The researchers showed how to get the lipid composition of E. coli and baker's yeast. The next step is to show that the method also works for mammalian cells.
"The applications for future work are not industrial but rather health-related, and several diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, lead to more rigid membranes and also impaired mitochondrial function," says lead author, Postdoc Itay Budin of JBEI.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. Cells with impaired mitochondrial function work slowly compared to normal cells. The membrane of the cells could become more fluid and normalize the mitochondrial function.
"We are excited about this work ̵
Materials provided by Technical University of Denmark . Note: Content can be edited for style and length.