Imaging method developed for lipid with many functions
An essential molecule in cells, called phosphatidic acid (PA), is at the center of a cellular biology mystery. This lipid, or fatty molecule, is a jack-of-all-trades – based on context, it can cause cells to move, divide or commit suicide. Elevated levels of PA have also been observed in many types of cancer as well as autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. But the lipid has been hard to study, because there have been no good tools for imaging where it gets produced – until now.