Modern lipidomics analysis paints a dynamic picture of membrane organizations, as changing and adapting lipid assemblies that play an active role in cellular function. This article highlights how the lipid composition of membranes determines specific organelle functions, how homeostatic mechanisms maintain these functions by regulating physical properties of membranes, and how cells disrupt lipid homeostasis to bring about regulated cell death (RCD). These are broad phenomena, and representative examples are reviewed here. In particular, the mechanisms of ferroptosis - a form of RCD brought about by lipid peroxidation - are highlighted, demonstrating how lipid metabolism drives cells' lipid composition toward states of increased sensitivity to lipid oxidation. An understanding of these interactions has begun to give rise to lipid-based therapies. This article reviews current successes of such therapies, and suggests directions for future developments.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.