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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 1656053, 17 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1656053
Review Article

An Overview of Lipid Droplets in Cancer and Cancer Stem Cells

1German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
2Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
3Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
4Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
5BioNEM Lab, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to L. Tirinato; ed.grebledieh-zfkd@otanirit.l and F. Pagliari; as.ude.tsuak@irailgap.acsecnarf

Received 29 January 2017; Revised 8 June 2017; Accepted 5 July 2017; Published 13 August 2017

Academic Editor: Heinrich Sauer

Copyright © 2017 L. Tirinato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

For decades, lipid droplets have been considered as the main cellular organelles involved in the fat storage, because of their lipid composition. However, in recent years, some new and totally unexpected roles have been discovered for them: (i) they are active sites for synthesis and storage of inflammatory mediators, and (ii) they are key players in cancer cells and tissues, especially in cancer stem cells. In this review, we summarize the main concepts related to the lipid droplet structure and function and their involvement in inflammatory and cancer processes.