Background: Metabolic-associated fattyliverdisease (MAFLD), also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. In addition to hepatic accumulation of triglycerides, dysregulated cholesterol metabolism is an important contributor to the pathogenesis of MAFLD. Maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis is highly dependent on cellular cholesterol uptake and, subsequently, cholesterol transport to other membrane compartments, such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).
Scope of review: The endolysosomal network is key for regulating cellular homeostasis and adaptation, and emerging evidence has shown that the endolysosomal network is crucial to maintain metabolic homeostasis. In this review, we will summarize our current understanding of the role of the endolysosomal network in cholesterol homeostasis and its implications in MAFLD pathogenesis.
Major conclusions: Although multiple endolysosomal proteins have been identified in the regulation of cholesterol uptake, intracellular transport, and degradation, their physiological role is incompletely understood. Further research should elucidate their role in controlling metabolic homeostasis and development of fatty liver disease.