Biogenesis of lipid droplets--how cells get fatter

Mol Membr Biol. 2010 Nov;27(8):462-8. doi: 10.3109/09687688.2010.538936.


Lipid droplets are discrete organelles present in most cell types and organisms including bacteria, yeast, plants, insects and animals. Long considered as passive storage deposits, recent cell biology, proteomic and lipidomic analysis show that lipid droplets are dynamic organelles involved in multiple cellular functions. They have a central function in lipid distribution to different membrane-bound organelles and serve not only as main reservoirs of neutral lipids such as triglycerides and cholesterol but in addition, contain structural proteins, proteins involved in lipid synthesis and transmembrane proteins. A detailed model for how transmembrane proteins such as SNARE proteins can exist in lipid droplets is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Lipids / physiology*
  • Organelle Biogenesis
  • SNARE Proteins / chemistry
  • SNARE Proteins / metabolism*


  • Lipids
  • SNARE Proteins