Proteomic analysis of proteins associated with lipid droplets of basal and lipolytically stimulated 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Dawn L. Brasaemle, Georgia Dolios, Lawrence Shapiro, Rong Wang

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574 Scopus citations


Adipocytes hold the body's major energy reserve as triacylglycerols packaged in large lipid droplets. Perilipins, the most abundant proteins on these lipid droplets, play a critical role in facilitating both triacylglycerol storage and hydrolysis. The stimulation of lipolysis by β-adrenergic agonists triggers rapid phosphorylation of perilipin and translocation of hormone-sensitive lipase to the surfaces of lipid droplets and more gradual fragmentation and dispersion of micro-lipid droplets. Because few lipid droplet-associated proteins have been identified in adipocytes, we isolated lipid droplets from basal and lipolytically stimulated 3T3-L1 adipocytes and identified the component proteins by mass spectrometry. Structural proteins identified in both preparations include perilipin, S3-12, vimentin, and TIP47; in contrast, adipophilin, caveolin-1, and tubulin selectively localized to droplets in lipolytically stimulated cells. Lipid metabolic enzymes identified in both preparations include hormone-sensitive lipase, lanosterol synthase, NAD(P)-dependent steroid dehydrogenase-like protein, acyl-CoA synthetase, long chain family member (ACSL) 1, and CGI-58. 17-β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, type 7, was identified only in basal preparations, whereas ACSL3 and 4 and two short-chain reductase/dehydrogenases were identified on droplets from lipolytically stimulated cells. Additionally, both preparations contained FSP27, ribophorin I, EHD2, diaphorase I, and ancient ubiquitous protein. Basal preparations contained CGI-49, whereas lipid droplets from lipolytically stimulated cells contained several Rab GTPases and tumor protein D54. A close association of mitochondria with lipid droplets was suggested by the identification of pyruvate carboxylase, prohibitin, and a subunit of ATP synthase in the preparations. Thus, adipocyte lipid droplets contain specific structural proteins as well as lipid metabolic enzymes; the structural reorganization of lipid droplets in response to the hormonal stimulation of lipolysis is accompanied by increases in the relative mass of several proteins and the recruitment of additional proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46835-46842
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 5 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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