Conte C, Codini M, Albi E (2018) Chromatin Lipid Microdomains. Int J Pathol Clin Res 4:075.


© 2018 Conte C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

COMMENTARY | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/2469-5807/1510075

Chromatin Lipid Microdomains

Carmela Conte#, Michela Codini# and Elisabetta Albi*

Department of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

#These authors contributed equally to this work.


In cell nucleus, polar and neutral lipids are responsible for the nuclear membrane and nuclear matrix fluidity. In specific sections of inner nuclear membranes that bind the active chromatin, lipid microdomains that constitute a platform for the transcription process are present.

Nuclear lipid microdomains appear as a homogenous population of closed, spherical or ovoid vesicle-like structures composed by an exact ratio of phosphatidylcholine, sphingomyelin and cholesterol. This ratio is maintained by neutral sphingomyelinase, sphingomyelin-synthase and reverse sphingomyelin-synthase activity. Interestingly, exist two pools of cholesterol in the chromatin: one called "sphingomyelin-free cholesterol fraction" and another "sphingomyelin-linked cholesterol fraction". The latest fraction is regulated by neutral sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase activity. The organization of sphingomyelin-linked cholesterol fraction in chromatin microdomains is reported in this commentary.