Special Issue "Lipid Droplets in Disease"
A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)
High levels of freely-diffusing fatty acids are toxic to cells. Thus, cells have evolved to convert free fatty acids into more soluble molecules and isolate them from the rest of the cell in dynamic compartments. A rapidly growing area of cell biology research is the study of the conversion of free fatty acids to neutral lipids. This initially occurs in or on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by the action of neutral lipid synthesizing enzymes. Once formed, it is postulated that the neutral lipids change the local geometry of the ER membrane. This causes the formation of a lens of neutral lipids, which continues to grow in size and causes the budding of a nascent organelle called a lipid droplet. It is unknown if lipid droplets completely separate from the ER or if they remain attached via their formation stem or form a persistent contact over their surfaces with the outer leaflet of the ER membrane. Once formed, factors such as FSP27 facilitate their fusion. It is at this point that droplet(s) can occupy vast volumes of cells. This is most often observed in adipocytes, and hepatocytes in fatty livers. These observations have led researchers to call lipid droplets the “obesity organelle.” Indeed, excessive sizes and numbers of cellular lipid droplets are one of the hallmarks of obesity. This Special Issue of Cells will improve our understanding of how lipid droplets form from the ER, fuse, and ultimately affect cellular metabolism. Since all eukaryotes have the machinery to produce lipid droplets, submissions are welcome from those studying model organisms.
Assoc. Prof. Paul Dalhaimer
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Lipid droplet
- Neutral lipid
- Endoplasmic reticulum
- Metabolic imbalance