DHA-phospholipids control membrane fusion and transcellular tunnel dynamics

J Cell Sci jcs.259119. | 08 DECEMBER 2021

Metabolic studies and animal knockout models point to the critical role of polyunsaturated docosahexaenoic acid (22:6, DHA)-containing phospholipids (PLs) in physiology. Here, we investigated the impact of DHA-PLs on the dynamics of transendothelial cell macroapertures (TEMs) triggered by RhoA inhibition-associated cell spreading. Lipidomic analyses show that human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) subjected to DHA-diet undergo a 6-fold enrichment in DHA-PLs at plasma membrane (PM) at the expense of monounsaturated OA-PLs. Consequently, DHA-PLs enrichment at the PM induces a reduction of cell thickness and shifts cellular membranes towards a permissive mode of membrane fusion for transcellular tunnel initiation. We provide evidence that a global homeostatic control of membrane tension and cell cortex rigidity minimizes overall changes of TEM area through a decrease of TEM size and lifetime. Conversely, low DHA-PL levels at the PM leads to the opening of unstable and wider TEMs. Together, this provides evidence that variations of DHA-PLs levels in membranes affect cell biomechanical properties.

Meng-Chen Tsai, Lucile Fleuriot, Sébastien Janel, David Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Camille Morel, Amel Mettouchi, Delphine Debayle, Stéphane Dallongeville, Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin, Bruno Antonny, Frank Lafont, Emmanuel Lemichez, Hélène Barelli

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