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Dynamic Remodeling of Membranes and Their Lipids during Acute Hormone-Induced Steroidogenesis in MA-10 Mouse Leydig Tumor Cells

Lipids play essential roles in numerous cellular processes, including membrane remodeling, signal transduction, the modulation of hormone activity, and steroidogenesis. We chose steroidogenic MA-10 mouse tumor Leydig cells to investigate subcellular lipid localization during steroidogenesis. Electron microscopy showed that cAMP stimulation increased associations between the plasma membrane (PM) and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and between the ER and mitochondria. cAMP stimulation also increased the movement of cholesterol from the PM compared to untreated cells, which was partially inhibited when ATPase family AAA-domain containing protein 3 A (ATAD3A), which functions in ER and mitochondria interactions, was knocked down. Mitochondria, ER, cytoplasm, PM, PM-associated membranes (PAMs), and mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) were isolated from control and hormone-stimulated cells. Lipidomic analyses revealed that each isolated compartment had a unique lipid composition, and the induction of steroidogenesis caused the significant remodeling of its lipidome. cAMP-induced changes in lipid composition included an increase in phosphatidylserine and cardiolipin levels in PAM and PM compartments, respectively; an increase in phosphatidylinositol in the ER, mitochondria, and MAMs; and a reorganization of phosphatidic acid, cholesterol ester, ceramide, and phosphatidylethanolamine. Abundant lipids, such as phosphatidylcholine, were not affected by hormone treatment. Our data suggested that PM-ER-mitochondria tethering may be involved in lipid trafficking between organelles and indicated that hormone-induced acute steroid production involves extensive organelle remodeling.

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