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Histochem Cell Biol. 2003 Oct;120(4):285-92. Epub 2003 Sep 20.

Temporal and spatial assembly of lipid droplet-associated proteins in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, 1-1 Jen-Ai Road, 100 Taipei, Taiwan.


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between newly formed lipid droplets and lipid droplet surface proteins, including perilipin, adipose differentiation related protein (ADRP), and p200 kDa protein (p200) in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, during lipogenesis. Sterol ester was used to induce nascent lipid droplets in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and the sequence of lipids and lipid droplet surface proteins was studied using a combination of immunohistochemistry and Nile red staining/Oil red O. We demonstrated that, although most growing lipid droplets appeared to have a lipid core surrounded by a fluorescent rim of ADRP, perilipin, and p200, tiny protein aggregates of ADRP, perilipin, or p200 could also be found to occur in the absence of lipid accumulation. In addition, ADRP associated with nascent lipid droplets prior to that of perilipin or p200. We provide evidence that lipid droplet surface proteins, especially ADRP and perilipin, are important in serving as a nucleation center for the assembly of lipid to form nascent lipid droplets.

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