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Annu Rev Nutr. 2016 Jul 17;36:471-509. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071813-105410.

The Perilipins: Major Cytosolic Lipid Droplet-Associated Proteins and Their Roles in Cellular Lipid Storage, Mobilization, and Systemic Homeostasis.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892; email:
The Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201; email:


The discovery by Dr. Constantine Londos of perilipin 1, the major scaffold protein at the surface of cytosolic lipid droplets in adipocytes, marked a fundamental conceptual change in the understanding of lipolytic regulation. Focus then shifted from the enzymatic activation of lipases to substrate accessibility, mediated by perilipin-dependent protein sequestration and recruitment. Consequently, the lipid droplet became recognized as a unique, metabolically active cellular organelle and its surface as the active site for novel protein-protein interactions. A new area of investigation emerged, centered on lipid droplets' biology and their role in energy homeostasis. The perilipin family is of ancient origin and has expanded to include five mammalian genes and a growing list of evolutionarily conserved members. Universally, the perilipins modulate cellular lipid storage. This review provides a summary that connects the perilipins to both cellular and whole-body homeostasis.


ATGL; HSL; lipolysis; obesity; steatosis; type 2 diabetes

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