Lipids

Lipids are hydrophobic or amphiphilic small molecules that include sterols, waxes, fatty acids and phospholipids, and are insoluble in water and soluble in organic solvent. Biological lipids are generated from ketoacyl and isoprene (CH2=C(CH3)CH=CH2) groups and include glycerolipids, sphingolipids, fatty acids and polyketides. Lipids play roles in energy storage, signalling and as structural components.

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  • News and Views |

    Autophagy is a ‘self-eating’ recycling process that maintains cellular homeostasis. Autogramins were identified as small-molecule autophagy inhibitors that target the cholesterol transport protein GRAMD1A, revealing a role for cholesterol in autophagosome biogenesis.

    • Leslie N. Aldrich
  • News and Views |

    The entry of remnants of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), from the blood stream into the intima of large arteries initiates and then perpetuates atherosclerosis. A study published in Nature sheds new light on this important process by identifying scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) as a major receptor that mediates LDL delivery across the endothelium into arteries.

    • Xinbo Zhang
    •  & Carlos Fernández-Hernando
    Nature Metabolism 1, 586-587
  • Research Highlights |

    The scavenger receptor class B member 1 (SRB1) in endothelial cells mediates active transcellular transport of circulating LDL into the artery wall and thereby drives the accumulation of LDL in macrophages, which become foam cells and promote the development of atherosclerosis

    • Irene Fernández-Ruiz
  • News and Views |

    A common missense variant (I148M) in patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) was strongly linked to human fatty liver disease in 2008, but the underlying mechanisms have since remained unclear. Compelling data from Yang et al., published in Nature Metabolism, suggest that PNPLA3 binds ABHD5, sequestering it and preventing it from activating ATGL, the major intracellular triglyceride lipase.

    • Stefano Romeo
    •  & David B. Savage
    Nature Metabolism 1, 505-506