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Historically, studies of intracellular membrane trafficking have focused on the secretory and endocytic pathways and their major organelles. However, these pathways are also directly implicated in the biogenesis and function of other important intracellular organelles, the best studied of which are peroxisomes and lipid droplets. There is a large recent body of work on these organelles, which have resulted in the introduction of new paradigms regarding the roles of membrane trafficking organelles. In this review, we discuss the roles of membrane trafficking in the life cycle of lipid droplets. This includes the complementary roles of lipid phase separation and proteins in the biogenesis of lipid droplets from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes, and the attachment of mature lipid droplets to membranes by lipidic bridges and by more conventional protein tethers. We also discuss the catabolism of neutral lipids, which in part results from the interaction of lipid droplets with cytosolic molecules, but with important roles for both macroautophagy and microautophagy. Finally, we address their eventual demise, which involves interactions with the autophagocytotic machinery. We pay particular attention to the roles of small GTPases, particularly Rab18, in these processes.


Selma Yilmaz Dejgaard, John F Presley. Interactions of Lipid Droplets with the Intracellular Transport Machinery. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Mar 09;22(5)

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PMID: 33803444

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