Cidea controls lipid droplet fusion and lipid storage in brown and white adipose tissue

Sci China Life Sci. 2014 Jan;57(1):107-16. doi: 10.1007/s11427-013-4585-y. Epub 2013 Dec 26.


Excess lipid storage in adipose tissue results in the development of obesity and other metabolic disorders including diabetes, fatty liver and cardiovascular diseases. The lipid droplet (LD) is an important subcellular organelle responsible for lipid storage. We previously observed that Fsp27, a member of the CIDE family proteins, is localized to LD-contact sites and promotes atypical LD fusion and growth. Cidea, a close homolog of Fsp27, is expressed at high levels in brown adipose tissue. However, the exact role of Cidea in promoting LD fusion and lipid storage in adipose tissue remains unknown. Here, we expressed Cidea in Fsp27-knockdown adipocytes and observed that Cidea has similar activity to Fsp27 in promoting lipid storage and LD fusion and growth. Next, we generated Cidea and Fsp27 double-deficient mice and observed that these animals had drastically reduced adipose tissue mass and a strong lean phenotype. In addition, Cidea/Fsp27 double-deficient mice had improved insulin sensitivity and were intolerant to cold. Furthermore, we observed that the brown and white adipose tissues of Cidea/Fsp27 double-deficient mice had significantly reduced lipid storage and contained smaller LDs compared to those of Cidea or Fsp27 single deficient mice. Overall, these data reveal an important role of Cidea in controlling lipid droplet fusion, lipid storage in brown and white adipose tissue, and the development of obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Mice


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Cidea protein, mouse