Distinct flippases translocate glycerophospholipids and oligosaccharide diphosphate dolichols across the endoplasmic reticulum Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Glycerophospholipids
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Phospholipid Transfer Proteins


  • Transbilayer movement, or flip-flop, of lipids across the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is required for membrane biogenesis, protein glycosylation, and GPI anchoring. Specific ER membrane proteins, flippases, are proposed to facilitate lipid flip-flop, but no ER flippase has been biochemically identified. The glycolipid Glc 3Man 9GlcNAc 2-PP-dolichol is the oligosaccharide donor for protein N-glycosylation reactions in the ER lumen. Synthesis of Glc 3Man 9GlcNAc 2-PP-dolichol is initiated on the cytoplasmic side of the ER and completed on the lumenal side, requiring flipping of the intermediate Man 5GlcNAc 2-PP-dolichol (M5-DLO) across the ER. Here we report the reconstitution of M5-DLO flipping in proteoliposomes generated from Triton X-100-extracted Saccharomyces cerevisiae microsomal proteins. Flipping was assayed by using the lectin Concanavalin A to capture M5-DLOs that had been translocated from the inner to the outer leaflet of the vesicles. M5-DLO flipping in the reconstituted system was ATP-independent and trypsin-sensitive and required a membrane protein(s) that sedimented at approximately 4 S. Man 7GlcNAc 2-PP-dolichol, a higher-order lipid intermediate, was flipped >10-fold more slowly than M5-DLO at 25 degrees C. Chromatography on Cibacron Blue dye resin enriched M5-DLO flippase activity approximately 5-fold and resolved it from both the ER glycerophospholipid flippase activity and the genetically identified flippase candidate Rft1 [Helenius, J., et al. (2002) Nature 415, 447-450]. The latter result indicates that Rft1 is not the M5-DLO flippase. Our data (i) demonstrate that the ER has at least two distinct flippase proteins, each specifically capable of translocating a class of phospholipid, and (ii) provide, for the first time, a biochemical means of identifying the M5-DLO flippase.

publication date

  • July 29, 2008



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2646664

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/bi800723n

PubMed ID

  • 18597486

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 7937

end page

  • 46


  • 47


  • 30