Disruption ofSerinc1,which facilitates serine-derived lipid synthesis, fails to alter macrophage function, lymphocyte proliferation or autoimmune disease susceptibility

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Abstract

During immune cell activation, serine-derived lipids such as phosphatidylserine and sphingolipids contribute to the formation of protein signaling complexes within the plasma membrane. Altering lipid composition in the cell membrane can subsequently affect immune cell function and the development of autoimmune disease. Serine incorporator 1 (SERINC1) is a putative carrier protein that facilitates synthesis of serine-derived lipids. To determine if SERINC1 has a role in immune cell function and the development of autoimmunity, we characterized a mouse strain in which a retroviral insertion abolishes expression of the Serinc1 transcript. Expression analyses indicated that the Serinc1 transcript is readily detectable and expressed at relatively high levels in wildtype macrophages and lymphocytes. The ablation of Serinc1 expression in these immune cells, however, did not significantly alter serine-derived lipid composition or affect macrophage function and lymphocyte proliferation. Analyses of Serinc1-deficient mice also indicated that systemic ablation of Serinc1 expression did not affect viability, fertility or autoimmune disease susceptibility. These results suggest that Serinc1 is dispensable for certain immune cell functions and does not contribute to previously reported links between lipid composition in immune cells and autoimmunity.

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