Cytosolic lipid droplets were considered until recently to be rather inert particles of stored neutral lipid. Largely through proteomics is it now known that droplets are dynamic organelles and that they participate in several important metabolic reactions as well as trafficking and interorganellar communication. In this review, the role of droplets in metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the fly Drosophila melanogaster, and several mammalian sources are discussed, particularly focusing on those reactions shared by these organisms. From proteomics and older work, it is clear that droplets are important for fatty acid and sterol biosynthesis, fatty acid activation, and lipolysis. However, many droplet-associated enzymes are predicted to span a membrane two or more times, which suggests either that droplet structure is more complex than the current model posits, or that there are tightly bound membranes, particularly derived from the endoplasmic reticulum, which account for the association of several of these proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology