Paris, 7 août 2014

Lipids boost the brain

Consuming oils with high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, in particular those containing omega-3s, is beneficial for the health. But the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly known. Researchers at the Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), the Unité Compartimentation et Dynamique Cellulaires (CNRS/Institut Curie/UPMC), the INSERM and the Université de Poitiers1 investigated the effect of lipids bearing polyunsaturated chains when they are integrated into cell membranes. Their work shows that the presence of these lipids makes the membranes more malleable and therefore more sensitive to deformation and fission by proteins. These results, published on August 8, 2014 in Science, could help explain the extraordinary efficacy of endocytosis2 in neuron cells.

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1This study was conducted in collaboration with teams from the Centre Commun de Microscopie Appliquée (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) and the Laboratoire Signalisation et Transports Ioniques Membranaires (CNRS/Université de Poitiers/Université François Rabelais de Tours).

2Endocytosis is the name of the process by which the cells absorb various substances present in the surrounding medium by encapsulating them in a lipoprotein membrane. Endocytosis is involved in several physiological functions.


Polyunsaturated phospholipids facilitate membrane deformation and fission by endocytic proteins; M. Pinot, S. Vanni, S. Pagnotta, S. Lacas-Gervais, L.A. Payet, T. Ferreira, R. Gautier, B. Goud, B. Antonny and H. Barelli; Science; 8 August 2014.

Contact information:

CNRS Researcher l Bruno Antonny l T 00 33 4 93 95 77 75 l

Inserm Researcherl Hélène Barelli l T 00 33 4 93 95 77 67 l

CNRS Press officer l Lucie Debroux l T 00 33 1 44 96 43 09 l


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