Perilipins: a diversity of intracellular lipid droplet proteins

Lipids Health Dis. 2017 Apr 28;16(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s12944-017-0473-y.


Intracellular lipid droplets (LDs) are found in a wide variety of cell types and have been recognized as organelles with unique spherical structures. Although LDs are not stable lipid-depots, they are active sites of neutral lipid metabolism, and comprise neutral lipid or cholesterol cores surrounded by phospholipid monolayers containing specialized proteins. However, sizes and protein compositions vary between cell and tissue types. Proteins of the perilipin family have been associated with surfaces of LDs and all carry a conserved 11-mer repeat motif. Accumulating evidence indicates that all perilipins are involved in LD formation and that all play roles in LD function under differing conditions. In this brief review, we summarize current knowledge of the roles of perilipins and lipid metabolizing enzymes in a variety of mammalian cell types.

Keywords: Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; Lipid droplet; Perilipin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases / genetics*
  • Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Lipid Droplets / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Perilipins / chemistry
  • Perilipins / classification
  • Perilipins / genetics*
  • Perilipins / metabolism
  • Protein Domains
  • Signal Transduction
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Perilipins
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases