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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Plant Physiology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #363728

Research Project: Molecular Genetic and Proximal Sensing Analyses of Abiotic Stress Response and Oil Production Pathways in Cotton, Oilseeds, and Other Industrial and Biofuel Crops

Location: Plant Physiology and Genetics Research

Title: Mechanisms of lipid droplet biogenesis

item CHAPMAN, KENT - University Of North Texas
item AZIZ, MINA - University Of North Texas
item Dyer, John
item MULLEN, ROBERT - University Of Guelph

Submitted to: Biochemical Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2019
Publication Date: 7/9/2019
Citation: Chapman, K.D., Aziz, M., Dyer, J.M., Mullen, R.T. 2019. Mechanisms of lipid droplet biogenesis. Biochemical Journal. 476(13):1929-1942.

Interpretive Summary: Most eukaryotic organisms store energy in the form of fat, which is deposited in small subcellular organelles called "lipid droplets". While much is known about the genes and enzymes involved in the synthesis of fat molecules, far less is known about how fats are packaged into lipid droplets at the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum. In recent years, there have been many advances in our understanding of the proteins involved in this process, and in some cases, the proteins are evolutionarily conserved between organisms, but in other instances, novel proteins have evolved to carry out similar functions across phyla. This review paper compares and contrasts the proteins involved in lipid droplet formation in plants, animals, and microbes, and identifies new and emerging areas of research that will help further our understanding of this process in eukaryotes. Development of a complete inventory of proteins and related processes provides a foundation for increasing the energy-density of crop plants.

Technical Abstract: Lipid droplets (LDs) are organelles that compartmentalize non-bilayer-forming lipids in the aqueous cytoplasm of cells. They are ubiquitous in most organisms, including in animals, protists, plants and microorganisms. In eukaryotes, LDs are believed to be derived by a budding and scission process from the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum, and this occurs concomitantly with the accumulation of neutral lipids, most often triacylglycerols and steryl esters. Overall, the mechanisms underlying LD biogenesis are difficult to generalize, in part because of the involvement of different sets of both evolutionarily-conserved and organism-specific LD-packaging proteins. Here, we briefly compare and contrast these machineries and the allied processes responsible for LD biogenesis in cells of animals, yeasts and plants.