Patched regulates lipid homeostasis by controlling cellular cholesterol levels

Carla E. Cadena del Castillo, J. Thomas Hannich, Andres Kaech, Hiroshisa Chiyoda, Masamitsu Fukuyama, Nils J. Færgeman, Howard Riezman and Anne Spang

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Received Date: 14th October 19

Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is essential during development and in organ physiology. In the canonical pathway, Hh binding to Patched (PTCH) relieves the inhibition of Smoothened (SMO). Yet, PTCH may also perform SMO-independent functions. While the PTCH homolog PTC-3 is essential in C. elegans, worms lack SMO, providing an excellent model to probe non-canonical PTCH function. Here, we show that PTC-3 is a cholesterol transporter. ptc-3(RNAi) leads to accumulation of intracellular cholesterol and defects in ER structure and lipid droplet formation. These phenotypes were accompanied by a reduction in acyl chain (FA) length and desaturation. ptc-3(RNAi)-induced lethality, fat storage and ER morphology defects were rescued by reducing dietary cholesterol. We provide evidence that cholesterol accumulation modulates the function of nuclear hormone receptors such as of the PPARa homolog NHR-49 and NHR-181, and affects FA composition. Our data uncover a novel role for PTCH in organelle structure maintenance and fat metabolism.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature