Novel role of dynamin-related-protein 1 in dynamics of ER-lipid droplets in adipose tissue

FASEB J. 2020 Jun;34(6):8265-8282. doi: 10.1096/fj.201903100RR. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


Dynamin-Related-Protein 1 (DRP1) critically regulates mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission in multicellular organisms. However, the impact of DRP1 on other organelles, especially its direct influence on ER functions remains largely unclear. Here, we report that DRP1 translocates to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in response to β-adrenergic stimulation. To further investigate the function of DRP1 on ER-lipid droplet (LD) dynamics and the metabolic subsequences, we generated an adipose tissue-specific DRP1 knockout model (Adipo-Drp1flx/flx ). We found that the LDs in adipose tissues of Adipo-Drp1flx/flx mice exhibited more unilocular morphology with larger sizes, and formed less multilocular structures upon cold exposure. Mechanistically, we discovered that abnormal LD morphology occurs because newly generated micro-LDs fail to dissociate from the ER due to DRP1 ablation. Conversely, the ER retention of LDs can be rescued by the overexpressed DRP1 in the adipocytes. The alteration of LD dynamics, combined with abnormal mitochondrial and autophagy functions in adipose tissue, ultimately lead to abnormalities in lipid metabolism in Adipo-Drp1flx/flx mice.

Keywords: ER retention; LD budding; LD morphology; energy expenditure; lipolysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Dynamins / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipid Droplets / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics / physiology
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • DNM1L protein, human
  • Dynamins