All life requires metabolic energy but energy supplies and demands change over time. For this reason, organisms have developed ways to store energy, predominantly as fat. Neutral lipids are packaged into lipid droplets, small organelles found in most eukaryotic cells and in some prokaryotes. Lipid droplets play a critical role in an organism’s physiology; too many lipid droplets can result in obesity and too few in metabolic disease.

In a three-part seminar, Tobias Walther and Robert Farese introduce us to the biological importance of lipid droplets, explain how these droplets form in cells in an organized manner, and discuss how proteins are targeted specifically to the surface of lipid droplets.

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Part One: An introduction to lipid droplets

Part Two: Mechanisms of lipid droplet formation

Part Three: Physiology of lipid droplet formation