Lipid droplet functions beyond energy storage
Lipid droplets are cytoplasmic organelles that store neutral lipids and are critically important for energy metabolism. Their function in energy storage is firmly established and increasingly well characterized. However, emerging evidence indicates that lipid droplets also play important and diverse roles in the cellular handling of lipids and proteins that may not be directly related to energy homeostasis. Lipid handling roles of droplets include the storage of hydrophobic vitamin and signaling precursors, and the management of endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress. Roles of lipid droplets in protein handling encompass functions in the maturation, storage, and turnover of cellular and viral polypeptides. Other potential roles of lipid droplets may be connected with their intracellular motility and, in some cases, their nuclear localization. This diversity highlights that lipid droplets are very adaptable organelles, performing different functions in different biological contexts. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Recent Advances in Lipid Droplet Biology edited by Rosalind Coleman and Matthijs Hesselink.
Journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Issue number 10 Pt B