From cell fat to cell fate

In multicellular organisms, cells are parts of communities in which an individual contributes to the collective phenotype of the community. Appreciating the “social” organization of these cell communities is instrumental to dissecting their physiology and the pathological consequences of their abnormalities. In Capolupo et al. we investigated the lipid metabolism and gene expression of individual human skin cells and found that specific lipid compositions drive cell specialization. Specifically, we found that sphingolipids determine the transcriptional programs of fibroblasts populating in different layers of the human skin. These results reveal an unexpected role for membrane lipids in the establishment of cell identity and tissue architecture


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