De novo lipogenesis fuels adipocyte autophagosome and lysosome membrane dynamics

Leslie A. Rowland, Adilson Guilherme, Felipe Henriques, Chloe DiMarzio, Sean Munroe, Nicole Wetoska, Mark Kelly, Keith Reddig, Gregory Hendricks, Meixia Pan, Xianlin Han, Olga R. Ilkayeva, Christopher B. Newgard, Michael P. Czech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Adipocytes robustly synthesize fatty acids (FA) from carbohydrate through the de novo lipogenesis (DNL) pathway, yet surprisingly DNL contributes little to their abundant triglyceride stored in lipid droplets. This conundrum raises the hypothesis that adipocyte DNL instead enables membrane expansions to occur in processes like autophagy, which requires an abundant supply of phospholipids. We report here that adipocyte Fasn deficiency in vitro and in vivo markedly impairs autophagy, evident by autophagosome accumulation and severely compromised degradation of the autophagic substrate p62. Our data indicate the impairment occurs at the level of autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and indeed, loss of Fasn decreases certain membrane phosphoinositides necessary for autophagosome and lysosome maturation and fusion. Autophagy dependence on FA produced by Fasn is not fully alleviated by exogenous FA in cultured adipocytes, and interestingly, imaging studies reveal that Fasn colocalizes with nascent autophagosomes. Together, our studies identify DNL as a critical source of FAs to fuel autophagosome and lysosome maturation and fusion in adipocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1362
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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