Ruiz M, Svensk E, Einarsson E, Grahn EP, Pilon M
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes 1864 (9) 183959 [2022-09-01; online 2022-05-17]
Defects in cell membrane homeostasis are implicated in numerous disorders, including cancer, neurodegeneration and diabetes. There is therefore a need for a powerful model to study membrane homeostasis and to identify eventual therapeutic routes. The C. elegans gene paqr-2 encodes a homolog of the mammalian AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 proteins that, when mutated, causes a membrane homeostasis defect accompanied by multiple phenotypes such as intolerance to dietary saturated fatty acids, intolerance to cold and a characteristic tail tip morphology defect. We screened a compound library to identify molecules that can suppress the paqr-2 phenotypes. A single positive hit, Tyloxapol, was found that very effectively suppresses multiple paqr-2 phenotypes. Tyloxapol is a non-ionic detergent currently in use clinically as an expectorant. Importantly, we examined the potential of Tyloxapol as a fluidizer in human cells and found that it improves the viability and membrane fluidity of AdipoR2-deficient human cells challenged with palmitic acid, a membrane-rigidifying saturated fatty acid.