Fat-specific protein of 27 kDa (FSP27) is a highly expressed adipocyte protein that promotes triglyceride accumulation within lipid droplets. In this issue of the JCI, Nishino et al. show that FSP27 also helps to maintain the characteristically large unilocular lipid droplet structure within each white adipocyte (see the related article beginning on page 2808). Fragmentation of lipid droplets in white adipocytes from FSP27-KO mice caused both increased lipolysis and upregulation of genes enhancing mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. This increased energy expenditure in turn protected the mice from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. These new results highlight powerful mechanisms that tightly coordinate rates of triglyceride storage in lipid droplets with mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in white adipocytes.
Vishwajeet Puri, Michael P. Czech