Lipid droplets can promote drug accumulation and activation
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
- Stanford University
- Genentech Incorporated
Genetic screens in cultured human cells represent a powerful unbiased strategy to identify cellular pathways that determine drug efficacy, providing critical information for clinical development. We used insertional mutagenesis-based screens in haploid cells to identify genes required for the sensitivity to lasonolide A (LasA), a macrolide derived from a marine sponge that kills certain types of cancer cells at low nanomolar concentrations. Our screens converged on a single gene, LDAH, encoding a member of the metabolite serine hydrolase family that is localized on the surface of lipid droplets. Mechanistic studies revealed that LasA accumulates in lipid droplets, where it is cleaved into a toxic metabolite by LDAH. We suggest that selective partitioning of hydrophobic drugs into the oil phase of lipid droplets can influence their activation and eventual toxicity to cells.