Cholesterol ester droplets and steroidogenesis. Molecular and cellular endocrinology Kraemer, F. B., Khor, V. K., Shen, W., Azhar, S. 2013; 371 (1-2): 15-19


Intracellular lipid droplets (LDs) are dynamic organelles that contain a number of associated proteins including perilipin (Plin) and vimentin. Cholesteryl ester (CE)-rich LDs normally accumulate in steroidogenic cells and their mobilization is the preferred initial source of cholesterol for steroidogenesis. Plin1a, 1b and 5 were found to preferentially associate with triacylglycerol-rich LDs and Plin1c and Plin4 to associate with CE-rich LDs, but the biological significance of this remains unanswered. Vimentin null mice were found to have decreased ACTH-stimulated corticosterone levels, and decreased progesterone levels in females, but normal hCG-stimulated testosterone levels in males. Smaller LDs were seen in null cells. Lipoprotein cholesterol delivery to adrenals and ovary was normal, as was the expression of steroidogenic genes; however, the movement of cholesterol to mitochondria was reduced in vimentin null mice. These results suggest that vimentin is important in the maintenance of CE-rich LDs and in the movement of cholesterol for steroidogenesis.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mce.2012.10.012

View details for PubMedID 23089211