Next Article in Journal
A Genomics-Based Model for Prediction of Severe Bioprosthetic Mitral Valve Calcification
Next Article in Special Issue
CAPS1 Negatively Regulates Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development through Alteration of Exocytosis-Associated Tumor Microenvironment
Previous Article in Journal
Surface Modified Multifunctional and Stimuli Responsive Nanoparticles for Drug Targeting: Current Status and Uses
Previous Article in Special Issue
One-Carbon Metabolism in Prostate Cancer: The Role of Androgen Signaling
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1430;

Lipid Droplets: A Key Cellular Organelle Associated with Cancer Cell Survival under Normoxia and Hypoxia

Molecular Pathology and Genetics Division, Kanagawa Cancer Center Research Institute, 2-3-2 Nakao, Asahi-ku, Yokohama 241-8515, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Li Yang
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Microenvironment and Metabolism)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4003 KB, uploaded 31 August 2016]   |  


The Warburg effect describes the phenomenon by which cancer cells obtain energy from glycolysis even under normoxic (O2-sufficient) conditions. Tumor tissues are generally exposed to hypoxia owing to inefficient and aberrant vasculature. Cancer cells have multiple molecular mechanisms to adapt to such stress conditions by reprogramming the cellular metabolism. Hypoxia-inducible factors are major transcription factors induced in cancer cells in response to hypoxia that contribute to the metabolic changes. In addition, cancer cells within hypoxic tumor areas have reduced access to serum components such as nutrients and lipids. However, the effect of such serum factor deprivation on cancer cell biology in the context of tumor hypoxia is not fully understood. Cancer cells are lipid-rich under normoxia and hypoxia, leading to the increased generation of a cellular organelle, the lipid droplet (LD). In recent years, the LD-mediated stress response mechanisms of cancer cells have been revealed. This review focuses on the production and functions of LDs in various types of cancer cells in relation to the associated cellular environment factors including tissue oxygenation status and metabolic mechanisms. This information will contribute to the current understanding of how cancer cells adapt to diverse tumor environments to promote their survival. View Full-Text
Keywords: lipid droplets; cancer; normoxia; hypoxia; stress response lipid droplets; cancer; normoxia; hypoxia; stress response

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Koizume, S.; Miyagi, Y. Lipid Droplets: A Key Cellular Organelle Associated with Cancer Cell Survival under Normoxia and Hypoxia. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1430.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top