Lipid droplets (LD) are organelles are highly recognized in biomedical research and pathology. LD are organelles ubiquitously found in nearly all cell types and tissues. They contain different lipidic material depending from their storage or transport function. Microscopically they used to be identified by different dyes staining the lipidic contents.
Only recently several proteins (perilipins 1-5, also named PAT family proteins) were identified within the membrane surrounding the LD: A new nomenclature for the family is PERILIPIN, the corresponding proteins are named Perilipin 1 – 5 or PLIN1 – PLIN5.
By raising highly specific antibodies to the individual PAT proteins these LD can now be further characterized with respect to their multifunctional properties, including lipid transport, lipogenesis and lypolysis. Additional application comprises viral and bacterial infection pathways which target LD during their entry into the host cell.
The antibodies against the different perilipins are useful to characterize subpopulations of LDs, and are occurring in diseases like diabetes, obesity, liposarcoma, atherosclerosis, lipid droplet biogenesis, viral and bacterial infection pathways.