Published in

MDPI, Cells, 4(10), p. 937, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/cells10040937



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Polyunsaturated Phospholipids Increase Cell Resilience to Mechanical Constraints

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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If polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are generally accepted to be good for health, the mechanisms of their bona fide benefits still remain elusive. Membrane phospholipids (PLs) of the cardiovascular system and skeletal muscles are particularly enriched in PUFAs. The fatty acid composition of PLs is known to regulate crucial membrane properties, including elasticity and plasticity. Since muscle cells undergo repeated cycles of elongation and relaxation, we postulated in the present study that PUFA-containing PLs could be central players for muscle cell adaptation to mechanical constraints. By a combination of in cellulo and in silico approaches, we show that PUFAs, and particularly the ω-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), regulate important properties of the plasma membrane that improve muscle cell resilience to mechanical constraints. Thanks to their unique property to contortionate within the bilayer plane, they facilitate the formation of vacuole-like dilation (VLD), which, in turn, avoid cell breakage under mechanical constraints.