Lipid droplets (LDs) in steroidogenic tissues have a cholesteryl ester (CE) core surrounded by a phospholipid monolayer that is coated with associated proteins. Compared with other tissues, they tend to be smaller in size and more numerous in numbers. These LDs are enriched with PLIN1c, PLIN2 and PLIN3. Both CIDE A and B are found in mouse ovary. Free cholesterol (FC) released upon hormone stimulation from LDs is the preferred source of cholesterol substrate for steroidogenesis, and HSL is the major neutral cholesterol esterase mediating the conversion of CEs to FC. Through the interaction of HSL with vimentin and StAR, FC is translocated to mitochondria for steroid hormone production. Proteomic analyses of LDs isolated from loaded primary ovarian granulosa cells, mouse MLTC-1 Leydig tumor cells and mouse testes revealed LD associated proteins that are actively involved in modulating lipid homeostasis along with a number of steroidogenic enzymes. Microscopy analysis confirmed the localization of many of these proteins to LDs. These studies broaden the role of LDs to include being a platform for functional steroidogenic enzyme activity or as a port for transferring steroidogenic enzymes and/or steroid intermediates, in addition to being a storage depot for CEs.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yexcr.2015.11.024
View details for Web of Science ID 000370581800008
View details for PubMedID 26639173
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4744538