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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Nov 18;892:155-68.

On the control of lipolysis in adipocytes.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2715, USA.


The lipolytic reaction in adipocytes is one of the most important reactions in the management of bodily energy reserves, and dysregulation of this reaction may contribute to the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Yet, progress on resolving the molecular details of this reaction has been relatively slow. However, recent developments at the molecular level begin to paint a clearer picture of lipolysis and point to a number of unanswered questions. While HSL has long been known to be the rate-limiting enzyme of lipolysis, the mechanism by which HSL attacks the droplet lipids is not yet firmly established. Certainly, the immunocytochemical evidence showing the movement of HSL to the lipid droplet upon stimulation leaves little doubt that this translocation is a key aspect of the lipolytic reaction, but whether or not HSL phosphorylation contributes to the translocation, and at which site(s), is as yet unresolved. It will be important to establish whether there is an activation step in addition to the translocation reaction. The participation of perilipin A is indicated by the findings that this protein can protect neutral lipids within droplets from hydrolysis, but active participation in the lipolytic reaction is yet to be proved. Again, it will be important to determine whether mutations of serine residues of PKA phosphorylation sites of perilipins prevent lipolysis, and whether such modifications abolish the physical changes in the droplet surfaces that accompany lipolysis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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