Lipophagy: Connecting autophagy and lipid metabolism

Rajat Singh, Ana Maria Cuervo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

236 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lipid droplets (LDs), initially considered inert lipid deposits, have gained during the last decade the classification of cytosolic organelles due to their defined composition and the multiplicity of specific cellular functions in which they are involved. The classification of LD as organelles brings along the need for their regulated turnover and recent findings support the direct contribution of autophagy to this turnover through a process now described as lipophagy. This paper focuses on the characteristics of this new type of selective autophagy and the cellular consequences of the mobilization of intracellular lipids through this process. Lipophagy impacts the cellular energetic balance directly, through lipid breakdown and, indirectly, by regulating food intake. Defective lipophagy has been already linked to important metabolic disorders such as fatty liver, obesity and atherosclerosis, and the age-dependent decrease in autophagy could underline the basis for the metabolic syndrome of aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number282041
JournalInternational Journal of Cell Biology
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 19 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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