Lysosomal integral membrane protein-2 as a phospholipid receptor revealed by biophysical and cellular studies

Karen S. Conrad, Ting Wen Cheng, Daniel Ysselstein, Saskia Heybrock, Lise R. Hoth, Boris A. Chrunyk, Christopher W. Am Ende, Dimitri Krainc, Michael Schwake, Paul Saftig, Shenping Liu*, Xiayang Qiu, Michael D. Ehlers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Lysosomal integral membrane protein-2 (LIMP-2/SCARB2) contributes to endosomal and lysosomal function. LIMP-2 deficiency is associated with neurological abnormalities and kidney failure and, as an acid glucocerebrosidase receptor, impacts Gaucher and Parkinson's diseases. Here we report a crystal structure of a LIMP-2 luminal domain dimer with bound cholesterol and phosphatidylcholine. Binding of these lipids alters LIMP-2 from functioning as a glucocerebrosidase-binding monomer toward a dimeric state that preferentially binds anionic phosphatidylserine over neutral phosphatidylcholine. In cellular uptake experiments, LIMP-2 facilitates transport of phospholipids into murine fibroblasts, with a strong substrate preference for phosphatidylserine. Taken together, these biophysical and cellular studies define the structural basis and functional importance of a form of LIMP-2 for lipid trafficking. We propose a model whereby switching between monomeric and dimeric forms allows LIMP-2 to engage distinct binding partners, a mechanism that may be shared by SR-BI and CD36, scavenger receptor proteins highly homologous to LIMP-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1908
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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