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News-in-brief / 08.25.15

The wisdom of crowding: Study reveals role of molecular crowding in lipid droplet protein composition

By Broad Communications

Lipid droplets (LDs) are structures that store fat within cells and change size based on energy availability. However, LDs do not function on their own: they require the help of proteins to carry out their metabolic duties. In a recent Developmental Cell paper, researchers from the Broad Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Yale School of Medicine sought to determine what factors influence the composition of such proteins. Results showed that a process known as “molecular crowding” — in which proteins fall off the surface of LDs as they shrink — could be responsible.