Breaking fat: The regulation and mechanisms of lipophagy

Ryan J. Schulze, Aishwarya Sathyanarayan, Douglas G. Mashek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Lipophagy is defined as the autophagic degradation of intracellular lipid droplets (LDs). While the field of lipophagy research is relatively young, an expansion of research in this area over the past several years has greatly advanced our understanding of lipophagy. Since its original characterization in fasted liver, the contribution of lipophagy is now recognized in various organisms, cell types, metabolic states and disease models. Moreover, recent studies provide exciting new insights into the underlying mechanisms of lipophagy induction as well as the consequences of lipophagy on cell metabolism and signaling. This review summarizes recent work focusing on LDs and lipophagy as well as highlighting challenges and future directions of research as our understanding of lipophagy continues to grow and evolve. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Recent Advances in Lipid Droplet Biology edited by Rosalind Coleman and Matthijs Hesselink.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1187
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Autophagy
  • Lipid droplets
  • Lipophagy


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