Inter-organelle ER-endolysosomal contact sites in metabolism and disease across evolution

Hanaa Hariri, Rupali Ugrankar, Yang Liu, W. Mike Henne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Since their initial observation, contact sites formed between different organelles have transitioned from ignored curiosities to recognized centers for the exchange of metabolites and lipids. Contact formed between the ER and endomembrane system (eg. the plasma membrane, endosomes, and lysosomes) is of particular biomedical interest, as it governs aspects of lipid metabolism, organelle identity, and cell signaling. Here, we review the field of ER-endolysosomal communication from the perspective of three model systems: budding yeast, the fruit fly D. melanogaster, and mammals. From this broad perspective, inter-organelle communication displays a consistent role in metabolic regulation that was differentially tuned during the development of complex metazoan life. We also examine the current state of understanding of lipid exchange between organelles, and discuss molecular mechanisms by which this occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2016


  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
  • inter-organelle communication
  • membrane contact sites (MCSs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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