Perilipin deficiency and autosomal dominant partial lipodystrophy

N Engl J Med. 2011 Feb 24;364(8):740-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1007487.


Perilipin is the most abundant adipocyte-specific protein that coats lipid droplets, and it is required for optimal lipid incorporation and release from the droplet. We identified two heterozygous frameshift mutations in the perilipin gene (PLIN1) in three families with partial lipodystrophy, severe dyslipidemia, and insulin-resistant diabetes. Subcutaneous fat from the patients was characterized by smaller-than-normal adipocytes, macrophage infiltration, and fibrosis. In contrast to wild-type perilipin, mutant forms of the protein failed to increase triglyceride accumulation when expressed heterologously in preadipocytes. These findings define a novel dominant form of inherited lipodystrophy and highlight the serious metabolic consequences of a primary defect in the formation of lipid droplets in adipose tissue.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acanthosis Nigricans / genetics
  • Adult
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Frameshift Mutation*
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / genetics*
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Lipodystrophy, Familial Partial / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Perilipin-1
  • Phosphoproteins / deficiency*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • PLIN1 protein, human
  • Perilipin-1
  • Phosphoproteins