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1.  Altered Skeletal Muscle Lipase Expression and Activity Contribute to Insulin Resistance in Humans 
Diabetes  2011;60(6):1734-1742.
OBJECTIVE
Insulin resistance is associated with elevated content of skeletal muscle lipids, including triacylglycerols (TAGs) and diacylglycerols (DAGs). DAGs are by-products of lipolysis consecutive to TAG hydrolysis by adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and are subsequently hydrolyzed by hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). We hypothesized that an imbalance of ATGL relative to HSL (expression or activity) may contribute to DAG accumulation and insulin resistance.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We first measured lipase expression in vastus lateralis biopsies of young lean (n = 9), young obese (n = 9), and obese-matched type 2 diabetic (n = 8) subjects. We next investigated in vitro in human primary myotubes the impact of altered lipase expression/activity on lipid content and insulin signaling.
RESULTS
Muscle ATGL protein was negatively associated with whole-body insulin sensitivity in our population (r = −0.55, P = 0.005), whereas muscle HSL protein was reduced in obese subjects. We next showed that adenovirus-mediated ATGL overexpression in human primary myotubes induced DAG and ceramide accumulation. ATGL overexpression reduced insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis (−30%, P < 0.05) and disrupted insulin signaling at Ser1101 of the insulin receptor substrate-1 and downstream Akt activation at Ser473. These defects were fully rescued by nonselective protein kinase C inhibition or concomitant HSL overexpression to restore a proper lipolytic balance. We show that selective HSL inhibition induces DAG accumulation and insulin resistance.
CONCLUSIONS
Altogether, the data indicate that altered ATGL and HSL expression in skeletal muscle could promote DAG accumulation and disrupt insulin signaling and action. Targeting skeletal muscle lipases may constitute an interesting strategy to improve insulin sensitivity in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db10-1364
PMCID: PMC3114384  PMID: 21498783
2.  Pigment Epithelium–Derived Factor Regulates Lipid Metabolism via Adipose Triglyceride Lipase 
Diabetes  2011;60(5):1458-1466.
OBJECTIVE
Pigment epithelium–derived factor (PEDF) is an adipocyte-secreted factor involved in the development of insulin resistance in obesity. Previous studies have identified PEDF as a regulator of triacylglycerol metabolism in the liver that may act through adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL). We used ATGL−/− mice to determine the role of PEDF in regulating lipid and glucose metabolism.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Recombinant PEDF was administered to ATGL−/− and wild-type mice, and whole-body energy metabolism was studied by indirect calorimetry. Adipose tissue lipolysis and skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism was determined in isolated tissue preparations. Muscle lipids were assessed by electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry. Whole-body insulin sensitivity and skeletal muscle glucose uptake were assessed.
RESULTS
PEDF impaired the capacity to adjust substrate selection, resulting in a delayed diurnal decline in the respiratory exchange ratio, and suppressed daily fatty acid oxidation. PEDF enhanced adipocyte lipolysis and triacylglycerol lipase activity in skeletal muscle. Muscle fatty acid uptake and storage were unaffected, whereas fatty acid oxidation was impaired. These changes in lipid metabolism were abrogated in ATGL−/− mice and were not attributable to hypothalamic actions. ATGL−/− mice were also refractory to PEDF-mediated insulin resistance, but this was not related to changes in lipid species in skeletal muscle.
CONCLUSIONS
The results are the first direct demonstration that 1) PEDF influences systemic fatty acid metabolism by promoting lipolysis in an ATGL-dependent manner and reducing fatty acid oxidation and 2) ATGL is required for the negative effects of PEDF on insulin action.
doi:10.2337/db10-0845
PMCID: PMC3292318  PMID: 21464445
3.  Adipose triglyceride lipase expression in human adipose tissue and muscle. Role in insulin resistance and response to training and pioglitazone 
Objective
Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) catalyzes the first step in adipocyte and muscle triglyceride hydrolysis, and Comparative Gene Identification-58 (CGI-58) is an essential cofactor. We studied the expression of ATGL and CGI-58 in human adipose and muscle, and examined correlations with markers of muscle fatty acid oxidation.
Materials/Methods
Non diabetic volunteers were studied. Subjects with impaired glucose tolerance were treated with pioglitazone or metformin for 10 weeks. Normal glucose tolerant subjects underwent a 12 week training program. We examined changes in ATGL and CGI-58 with obesity and insulin resistance, and effects of exercise and pioglitazone.
Results
ATGL mRNA expression showed no correlation with either body mass index (BMI) or insulin sensitivity (SI) in either adipose or muscle. However, adipose ATGL protein levels were inversely correlated with BMI (r=−0.64, p<0.02), and positively correlated with SI (r=0.67, p<0.02). In muscle, ATGL mRNA demonstrated a strong positive relationship with carnitine palmitoyltransferase I mRNA (r=0.82, p<0.0001), and the adiponectin receptors AdipoR1 mRNA (r=0.71, p<0.0001), and AdipoR2 mRNA (r=0.74, p<0.0001). Muscle CGI-58 mRNA was inversely correlated with intramyocellular triglyceride in both type 1 (r=−0.35, p<0.05) and type 2 (r=−0.40, p<0.05) fibers. Exercise training resulted in increased muscle ATGL and pioglitazone increased adipose ATGL by 31% (p<0.05). Pioglitazone also increased ATGL in adipocytes.
Conclusions
Adipose ATGL protein is decreased with insulin resistance and obesity, and muscle ATGL mRNA is associated with markers of fatty acid oxidation in muscle, as is CGI-58. The regulation of ATGL and CGI-58 have important implications for the control of lipotoxicity.
doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2010.10.005
PMCID: PMC3062961  PMID: 21129760
CGI-58; muscle fatty acid oxidation; lipotoxicity; exercise; PPARγ
4.  Myocardial Adipose Triglyceride Lipase Overexpression Protects Diabetic Mice From the Development of Lipotoxic Cardiomyopathy 
Diabetes  2013;62(5):1464-1477.
Although diabetic cardiomyopathy is associated with enhanced intramyocardial triacylglycerol (TAG) levels, the role of TAG catabolizing enzymes in this process is unclear. Because the TAG hydrolase, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), regulates baseline cardiac metabolism and function, we examined whether alterations in cardiomyocyte ATGL impact cardiac function during uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. In genetic (Akita) and pharmacological (streptozotocin) murine models of type 1 diabetes, cardiac ATGL protein expression and TAG content were significantly increased. To determine whether increased ATGL expression during diabetes is detrimental or beneficial to cardiac function, we studied streptozotocin-diabetic mice with heterozygous ATGL deficiency and cardiomyocyte-specific ATGL overexpression. After diabetes, streptozotocin-diabetic mice with heterozygous ATGL deficiency displayed increased TAG accumulation, lipotoxicity, and diastolic dysfunction comparable to wild-type mice. In contrast, myosin heavy chain promoter (MHC)-ATGL mice were resistant to diabetes-induced increases in intramyocardial TAG levels, lipotoxicity, and cardiac dysfunction. Moreover, hearts from diabetic MHC-ATGL mice exhibited decreased reliance on palmitate oxidation and blunted peroxisome proliferator--activated receptor-α activation. Collectively, this study shows that after diabetes, increased cardiac ATGL expression is an adaptive, albeit insufficient, response to compensate for the accumulation of myocardial TAG, and that overexpression of ATGL is sufficient to ameliorate diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.
doi:10.2337/db12-0927
PMCID: PMC3636613  PMID: 23349479
5.  Cellular Localization and Associations of the Major Lipolytic Proteins in Human Skeletal Muscle at Rest and during Exercise 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103062.
Lipolysis involves the sequential breakdown of fatty acids from triacylglycerol and is increased during energy stress such as exercise. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is a key regulator of skeletal muscle lipolysis and perilipin (PLIN) 5 is postulated to be an important regulator of ATGL action of muscle lipolysis. Hence, we hypothesized that non-genomic regulation such as cellular localization and the interaction of these key proteins modulate muscle lipolysis during exercise. PLIN5, ATGL and CGI-58 were highly (>60%) colocated with Oil Red O (ORO) stained lipid droplets. PLIN5 was significantly colocated with ATGL, mitochondria and CGI-58, indicating a close association between the key lipolytic effectors in resting skeletal muscle. The colocation of the lipolytic proteins, their independent association with ORO and the PLIN5/ORO colocation were not altered after 60 min of moderate intensity exercise. Further experiments in cultured human myocytes showed that PLIN5 colocation with ORO or mitochondria is unaffected by pharmacological activation of lipolytic pathways. Together, these data suggest that the major lipolytic proteins are highly expressed at the lipid droplet and colocate in resting skeletal muscle, that their localization and interactions appear to remain unchanged during prolonged exercise, and, accordingly, that other post-translational mechanisms are likely regulators of skeletal muscle lipolysis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103062
PMCID: PMC4108417  PMID: 25054327
6.  Early structural and metabolic cardiac remodelling in response to inducible adipose triglyceride lipase ablation 
Cardiovascular Research  2013;99(3):442-451.
Aims
While chronic alterations in cardiac triacylglycerol (TAG) metabolism and accumulation are associated with cardiomyopathy, it is unclear whether TAG catabolizing enzymes such as adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) play a role in acquired cardiomyopathies. Importantly, germline deletion of ATGL leads to marked cardiac steatosis and heart failure in part through reducing peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) activity and subsequent fatty acid oxidation (FAO). However, whether ATGL deficiency specifically in adult cardiomyocytes contributes to impaired PPARα activity, cardiac function, and metabolism is not known.
Methods and results
To study the effects of acquired cardiac ATGL deficiency on cardiac PPARα activity, function, and metabolism, we generated adult mice with tamoxifen-inducible cardiomyocyte-specific ATGL deficiency (icAtglKO). Within 4–6 weeks following ATGL ablation, icAtglKO mice had markedly increased myocardial TAG accumulation, fibrotic remodelling, and pathological hypertrophy. Echocardiographic analysis of hearts in vivo revealed that contractile function was moderately reduced in icAtglKO mice. Analysis of energy metabolism in ex vivo perfused working hearts showed diminished FAO rates which was not paralleled by markedly impaired PPARα target gene expression.
Conclusions
This study shows that acquired cardiomyocyte-specific ATGL deficiency in adult mice is sufficient to promote fibrotic and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and impair myocardial FAO in the absence of markedly reduced PPARα signalling.
doi:10.1093/cvr/cvt124
PMCID: PMC3718322  PMID: 23708736
Cardiomyopathy; Lipid metabolism; Lipid signalling; Remodelling; ATGL
7.  Adipose triglyceride lipase activity is inhibited by long-chain acyl-coenzyme A 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2014;1841(4):588-594.
Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is required for efficient mobilization of triglyceride (TG) stores in adipose tissue and non-adipose tissues. Therefore, ATGL strongly determines the availability of fatty acids for metabolic reactions. ATGL activity is regulated by a complex network of lipolytic and anti-lipolytic hormones. These signals control enzyme expression and the interaction of ATGL with the regulatory proteins CGI-58 and G0S2. Up to date, it was unknown whether ATGL activity is also controlled by lipid intermediates generated during lipolysis. Here we show that ATGL activity is inhibited by long-chain acyl-CoAs in a non-competitive manner, similar as previously shown for hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), the rate-limiting enzyme for diglyceride breakdown in adipose tissue. ATGL activity is only marginally inhibited by medium-chain acyl-CoAs, diglycerides, monoglycerides, and free fatty acids. Immunoprecipitation assays revealed that acyl-CoAs do not disrupt the protein–protein interaction of ATGL and its co-activator CGI-58. Furthermore, inhibition of ATGL is independent of the presence of CGI-58 and occurs directly at the N-terminal patatin-like phospholipase domain of the enzyme. In conclusion, our results suggest that inhibition of the major lipolytic enzymes ATGL and HSL by long-chain acyl-CoAs could represent an effective feedback mechanism controlling lipolysis and protecting cells from lipotoxic concentrations of fatty acids and fatty acid-derived lipid metabolites.
Graphical abstract
Highlights
•Long-chain acyl-CoAs inhibit ATGL in a non-competitive manner.•Inhibition occurs at the N-terminal region of ATGL and independent of CGI-58, the co-activator of ATGL.•Acyl-CoA mediated inhibition of lipolysis could represent a general feedback mechanism protecting cells from fatty acid overload.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.01.005
PMCID: PMC3988850  PMID: 24440819
Adipose triglyceride lipase; Hormone-sensitive lipase; Lipolysis; Regulation; acyl-CoA
8.  Endothelial dysfunction in adipose triglyceride lipase deficiency 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2014;1841(6):906-917.
Systemic knockout of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), the pivotal enzyme of triglyceride lipolysis, results in a murine phenotype that is characterized by progredient cardiac steatosis and severe heart failure. Since cardiac and vascular dysfunction have been closely related in numerous studies we investigated endothelium-dependent and -independent vessel function of ATGL knockout mice. Aortic relaxation studies and Langendorff perfusion experiments of isolated hearts showed that ATGL knockout mice suffer from pronounced micro- and macrovascular endothelial dysfunction. Experiments with agonists directly targeting vascular smooth muscle cells revealed the functional integrity of the smooth muscle cell layer. Loss of vascular reactivity was restored ~ 50% upon treatment of ATGL knockout mice with the PPARα agonist Wy14,643, indicating that this phenomenon is partly a consequence of impaired cardiac contractility. Biochemical analysis revealed that aortic endothelial NO synthase expression and activity were significantly reduced in ATGL deficiency. Enzyme activity was fully restored in ATGL mice treated with the PPARα agonist. Biochemical analysis of perivascular adipose tissue demonstrated that ATGL knockout mice suffer from perivascular inflammatory oxidative stress which occurs independent of cardiac dysfunction and might contribute to vascular defects. Our results reveal a hitherto unrecognized link between disturbed lipid metabolism, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Graphical abstract
Highlights
•AKO mice suffer from severe micro- and macrovascular endothelial dysfunction.•Aortic eNOS protein is downregulated in ATGL deficiency due to enhanced proteasomal degradation.•PVAT of AKO mice exhibits characteristics of chronic inflammatory oxidative stress.•At least two independent mechanisms are involved in the endothelial defect.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.03.005
PMCID: PMC4000266  PMID: 24657704
ACh, acetylcholine; ATGL, adipose triglyceride lipase; AKO, adipose triglyceride lipase knockout; BIP, binding immunoglobulin protein; BK, bradykinin; BSA, bovine serum albumin; CD31, cluster of differentiation 31; CL, chemiluminescence; CPP, coronary perfusion pressure; DEA/NO, 2,2-diethyl-1-nitroso-oxyhydrazine; DMEM, Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium; EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; eNOS, endothelial nitric oxide synthase; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; H&E, hematoxylin and eosin; Hsp90, heat shock protein 90; IL-6, interleukin 6; IRE-1α, inostitol-requiring enzyme 1α; Mac-2, galectin-3; MCP-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1; NLSDM, neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy; NOX, NADPH oxidase; HO-1, heme oxygenase-1; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; PDI, protein disulfide isomerase; PEG, polyethyleneglycol; PPARα, peroxisome proliferator receptor α; PVAT, perivascular adipose tissue; α-SMA, α-smooth muscle actin; SOD, superoxide dismutase; TG, triacylglycerol; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor α; U 46619, 9,11-dideoxy-9α,11α-epoxy-methanoprostaglandin F2α; VASP, vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein; pVASP, phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein; WAT, white adipose tissue; WT, wild-type; XBP1, X-box-binding protein 1; Adipose triglyceride lipase; Endothelial dysfunction; Perivascular inflammation; Endothelial NO synthase; Vascular proteasome
9.  ATGL is a major hepatic lipase that regulates TAG turnover and fatty acid signaling and partitioning 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2010;53(1):116-126.
Despite advances into our understanding of how nutrient oversupply and triacylglycerol (TAG) anabolism contribute to hepatic steatosis, little is known about the lipases responsible for regulating hepatic TAG turnover. Recent studies have identified adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) as a major lipase in adipose tissue although its role in the liver is largely unknown. Thus, we tested the contribution of ATGL to hepatic lipid metabolism and signaling. Adenoviral-mediated knockdown of hepatic ATGL resulted in steatosis in mice and decreased hydrolysis of TAG in primary hepatocyte cultures and in vitro assays. In addition to altering TAG hydrolysis, ATGL is shown to play a significant role in partitioning hydrolyzed fatty acids between metabolic pathways. Whereas ATGL gain- and loss-of-function did not alter hepatic TAG secretion, fatty acid oxidation was increased by ATGL overexpression and decreased by ATGL knockdown. The effects on fatty acid oxidation coincided with decreased expression of PPAR-α and its target genes in mice with suppressed hepatic ATGL expression. However, PPAR-α agonism was unable to normalize the effects of ATGL knockdown on PPAR-α target gene expression suggesting that ATGL influences PPAR-α activity independent of ligand-induced activation. Taken together, these data show that ATGL is a major hepatic TAG lipase that plays an integral role in fatty acid partitioning and signaling to control energy metabolism.
doi:10.1002/hep.24006
PMCID: PMC3025059  PMID: 20967758
ATGL; β-oxidation; PPAR-α; TAG
10.  Differential control of ATGL-mediated lipid droplet degradation by CGI-58 and G0S2 
Cell Cycle  2010;9(14):2719-2725.
Lipid droplets (LDs) are intracellular storage sites for triacylglyerols (TAGs) and steryl esters, and play essential roles in energy metabolism and membrane biosynthesis. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is the key enzyme for TAG hydrolysis (lipolysis) in adipocytes and LD degradation in nonadipocyte cells. Lipase activity of ATGL in vivo largely depends on its C-terminal sequence as well as coactivation by CGI-58. Here we demonstrate that the C-terminal hydrophobic domain in ATGL is required for LD targeting and CGI-58-independent LD degradation. Overexpression of wild-type ATGL causes a dramatic decrease in LD size and number, whereas a mutant lacking the hydrophobic domain fails to localize to LDs and to affect their morphology. Interestingly, coexpression of CGI-58 is able to promote LD turnover mediated by this ATGL mutant. Recently we have discovered that G0S2 acts as an inhibitor of ATGL activity and ATGL-mediated lipolysis. Here we show that G0S2 binds to ATGL irrelevantly of its activity state or the presence of CGI-58. In G0S2-expressing cells, the combined expression of CGI-58 and ATGL is incapable of stimulating LD turnover. We propose that CGI-58 and G0S2 regulate ATGL via non-competing mechanisms.
doi:10.4161/cc.9.14.12181
PMCID: PMC3040957  PMID: 20676045
lipolysis; lipase; lipid droplet; triacylglycerol; fatty acid
11.  Skeletal Muscle Triacylglycerol Hydrolysis Does Not Influence Metabolic Complications of Obesity 
Diabetes  2013;62(10):3350-3361.
Intramyocellular triacylglycerol (IMTG) accumulation is highly associated with insulin resistance and metabolic complications of obesity (lipotoxicity), whereas comparable IMTG accumulation in endurance-trained athletes is associated with insulin sensitivity (the athlete’s paradox). Despite these findings, it remains unclear whether changes in IMTG accumulation and metabolism per se influence muscle-specific and systemic metabolic homeostasis and insulin responsiveness. By mediating the rate-limiting step in triacylglycerol hydrolysis, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) has been proposed to influence the storage/production of deleterious as well as essential lipid metabolites. However, the physiological relevance of ATGL-mediated triacylglycerol hydrolysis in skeletal muscle remains unknown. To determine the contribution of IMTG hydrolysis to tissue-specific and systemic metabolic phenotypes in the context of obesity, we generated mice with targeted deletion or transgenic overexpression of ATGL exclusively in skeletal muscle. Despite dramatic changes in IMTG content on both chow and high-fat diets, modulation of ATGL-mediated IMTG hydrolysis did not significantly influence systemic energy, lipid, or glucose homeostasis, nor did it influence insulin responsiveness or mitochondrial function. These data argue against a role for altered IMTG accumulation and lipolysis in muscle insulin resistance and metabolic complications of obesity.
doi:10.2337/db13-0500
PMCID: PMC3781480  PMID: 23835334
12.  Role of the ubiquitin–proteasome system in cardiac dysfunction of adipose triglyceride lipase-deficient mice 
Systemic deletion of the gene encoding for adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) in mice leads to severe cardiac dysfunction due to massive accumulation of neutral lipids in cardiomyocytes. Recently, impaired peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) signaling has been described to substantially contribute to the observed cardiac phenotype. Disturbances of the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) have been implicated in numerous cardiac diseases including cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease, and heart failure. The objective of the present study was to investigate the potential role of UPS in cardiac ATGL deficiency. Our results demonstrate prominent accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins in hearts of ATGL-deficient mice, an effect that was abolished upon cardiomyocyte-directed overexpression of ATGL. In parallel, cardiac protein expression of the ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1a, which catalyzes the first step of the ubiquitination cascade, was significantly upregulated in ATGL-deficient hearts. Dysfunction of the UPS was accompanied by activation of NF-κB signaling. Moreover, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident chaperon protein disulfide isomerase was significantly upregulated in ATGL-deficient hearts. Chronic treatment of ATGL-deficient mice with the PPARα agonist Wy14,643 improved proteasomal function, prevented NF-κB activation and decreased oxidative stress. In summary, our data point to a hitherto unrecognized link between proteasomal function, PPARα signaling and cardiovascular disease.
Highlights
•Accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins was increased in ATGL-deficient hearts.•Cardiac NF-κB signaling was upregulated in ATGL deficiency.•Chronic PPARα treatment improved proteasomal function.•Cardiac NOX activity was normalized upon PPARα treatment.
doi:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2014.09.028
PMCID: PMC4263609  PMID: 25285770
ATF6, activating transcription factor 6; ATGL, adipose triglyceride lipase; AKO, adipose triglyceride lipase knockout; AMC, amino-4-methylcoumarin; CHOP, C/EBP homologous protein; EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; FA, fatty acid; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GRP78, glucose-regulated protein 78 kDa; GTPCH-1, GTP cyclohydrolase 1; HO-1, heme oxygenase-1; IκB, inhibitor of κB; IKK, IκB kinase; IL-6, interleukin 6; I/R, ischemia/reperfusion; IRE-1, inositol-requiring enzyme 1; MCP-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1; MG132, carbobenzoxy-Leu-Leu-leucinal; NF-κB, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells; NOX, NADPH oxidase; PDI, protein disulfide isomerase; PGC, PPARγ coactivator; PPARα, peroxisome proliferator receptor α; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; SOD-1, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase; SucLLVY-AMC, succinyl-Leu-Leu-Val-Tyr-7-amido-4-methylcoumarin; TAG, triacylglyceride; Tfam, mitochondrial transcription factor A; Tg, transgene; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor α; UBE1a, ubiquitin-activating enzyme 1a; UPR, unfolded protein response; UPS, ubiquitin-proteasome system; WT, wild-type; Adipose triglyceride lipase; Cardiac dysfunction; Inflammation; NF-κB; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α
13.  Cardiac oxidative stress in a mouse model of neutral lipid storage disease☆ 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2013;1831(11):1600-1608.
Cardiac oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Systemic deletion of the gene encoding adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of triglyceride lipolysis, results in a phenotype characterized by severe steatotic cardiac dysfunction. The objective of the present study was to investigate a potential role of oxidative stress in cardiac ATGL deficiency. Hearts of mice with global ATGL knockout were compared to those of mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted overexpression of ATGL and to those of wildtype littermates. Our results demonstrate that oxidative stress, measured as lucigenin chemiluminescence, was increased ~ 6-fold in ATGL-deficient hearts. In parallel, cytosolic NADPH oxidase subunits p67phox and p47phox were upregulated 4–5-fold at the protein level. Moreover, a prominent upregulation of different inflammatory markers (tumor necrosis factor α, monocyte chemotactant protein-1, interleukin 6, and galectin-3) was observed in those hearts. Both the oxidative and inflammatory responses were abolished upon cardiomyocyte-restricted overexpression of ATGL. Investigating the effect of oxidative and inflammatory stress on nitric oxide/cGMP signal transduction we observed a ~ 2.5-fold upregulation of soluble guanylate cyclase activity and a ~ 2-fold increase in cardiac tetrahydrobiopterin levels. Systemic treatment of ATGL-deficient mice with the superoxide dismutase mimetic Mn(III)tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin did not ameliorate but rather aggravated cardiac oxidative stress. Our data suggest that oxidative and inflammatory stress seems involved in lipotoxic heart disease. Upregulation of soluble guanylate cyclase and cardiac tetrahydrobiopterin might be regarded as counterregulatory mechanisms in cardiac ATGL deficiency.
Graphical abstract
Highlights
•ATGL(−/−) mice suffer from severe cardiac oxidative stress originating from upregulation of NOX2-dependent NADPH oxidase.•Inflammation markers TNFα, MCP-1, IL-6, and Mac-2 are increased in cardiac ATGL deficiency.•Activity of sGC and cardiac BH4 levels are elevated in ATGL(−/−) hearts.•Systemic treatment of ATGL(−/−) mice with the SOD mimetic MnTBAP did not ameliorate oxidative stress.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2013.07.004
PMCID: PMC3795454  PMID: 23867907
ATGL, adipose triglyceride lipase; ATGL(−/−), adipose triglyceride lipase knockout; BH2, dihydrobiopterin, [2-amino-6-(1,2-dihydroxypropyl)-7,8-dihydro-1H-pteridin-4-one]; BH4, tetrahydrobiopterin, [(6R)-2-amino-6-[(1R,2S)-1,2-dihydroxypropyl]-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropteridin-4(1H)-one]; DEA/NO, 2,2-diethyl-1-nitroso-oxyhydrazine; DAG, diacylglycerol; eNOS, endothelial nitric oxide synthase; FFA, free fatty acid; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; (s)GC, (soluble) guanylate cyclase; IL-6, interleukin 6; Mac-2, galectin-3; MCP-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1; MnTBAP, Mn(III)tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin chloride; NADPH, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate; iNOS, inducible nitric oxide synthase; nNOS, neuronal nitric oxide synthase; NO, nitric oxide; NOX, NADPH oxidase; ONOO−, peroxynitrite; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; PKC, protein kinase C; PPARα, peroxisome proliferator receptor α; SOD, superoxide dismutase; TG, triacylglycerol; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor α; VASP, vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein; pVASP, phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein; Adipose triglyceride lipase; Cardiac hypertrophy; Oxidative stress; Inflammation; NADPH oxidase
14.  The G0/G1 Switch Gene 2 Regulates Adipose Lipolysis through Association with Adipose Triglyceride Lipase 
Cell metabolism  2010;11(3):194-205.
Summary
Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme for triacylglycerol (TAG) hydrolysis in adipocytes. The precise mechanisms whereby ATGL is regulated remain uncertain. Here we demonstrate that a protein encoded by G0/G1 switch gene 2 (G0S2) is a selective regulator of ATGL. G0S2 is highly expressed in adipose tissue and differentiated adipocytes. When overexpressed in HeLa cells, G0S2 localizes to lipid droplets and prevents their degradation mediated by ATGL. Moreover, G0S2 specifically interacts with ATGL, requiring the hydrophobic domain of G0S2 and the patatin-like domain of ATGL. More importantly, interaction with G0S2 inhibits the TAG hydrolase activity of ATGL. Furthermore, knockdown of endogenous G0S2 accelerates basal and stimulated lipolysis in adipocytes, while overexpression of G0S2 diminishes the rate of lipolysis in both adipocytes and adipose tissue explants. Thus, G0S2 functions to attenuate ATGL action both in vitro and in vivo, underlying a novel mechanism for the regulation of TAG hydrolysis.
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2010.02.003
PMCID: PMC3658843  PMID: 20197052
15.  Pleiotropic regulation of mitochondrial function by adipose triglyceride lipase-mediated lipolysis☆ 
Biochimie  2014;96(100):106-112.
Lipolysis is defined as the catabolism of triacylglycerols (TGs) stored in cellular lipid droplets. Recent discoveries of essential lipolytic enzymes and characterization of numerous regulatory proteins and mechanisms have fundamentally changed our perception of lipolysis and its impact on cellular metabolism. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme for TG catabolism in most cells and tissues. This review focuses on recent advances in understanding the (patho)physiological impact due to defective lipolysis by ATGL deficiency on mitochondrial (dys)function. Depending on the type of cells and tissues investigated, absence of ATGL has pleiotropic roles in mitochondrial function.
Highlights
•ATGL is the rate-limiting enzyme in TG hydrolysis in most organs and cells.•Depending on cell and tissue type ATGL has pleiotropic roles in mitochondrial function.•This review highlights the newest understanding of the impact of ATGL deficiency on mitochondrial (dys)function.
doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2013.06.023
PMCID: PMC3859496  PMID: 23827855
Adipose triglyceride lipase; Triacylglycerol; Lipotoxicity; Mitochondrial function; ATGL, adipose triglyceride lipase; BAT, brown adipose tissue; DG, diacylglycerol; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; FFA, free fatty acids; PGC-1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator-1; PPAR, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor; TG, triacylglycerol; WAT, white adipose tissue; Wt, wild-type
16.  Efficient Phagocytosis Requires Triacylglycerol Hydrolysis by Adipose Triglyceride Lipase* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2010;285(26):20192-20201.
Macrophage phagocytosis is an essential biological process in host defense and requires large amounts of energy. To date, glucose is believed to represent the prime substrate for ATP production in macrophages. To investigate the relative contribution of free fatty acids (FFAs) in this process, we determined the phagocytosis rates in normal mouse macrophages and macrophages of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL)-deficient mice. ATGL was shown to be the rate-limiting enzyme for the hydrolysis of lipid droplet-associated triacylglycerol (TG) in many tissues. Here, we demonstrate that Atgl−/− macrophages fail to efficiently hydrolyze cellular TG stores leading to decreased cellular FFA concentrations and concomitant accumulation of lipid droplets, even in the absence of exogenous lipid loading. The reduced availability of FFAs results in decreased cellular ATP concentrations and impaired phagocytosis suggesting that fatty acids must first go through a cycle of esterification and re-hydrolysis before they are available as energy substrate. Exogenously added glucose cannot fully compensate for the phagocytotic defect in Atgl−/− macrophages. Hence, phagocytosis was also decreased in vivo when Atgl−/− mice were challenged with bacterial particles. These findings imply that phagocytosis in macrophages depends on the availability of FFAs and that ATGL is required for their hydrolytic release from cellular TG stores. This novel mechanism links ATGL-mediated lipolysis to macrophage function in host defense and opens the way to explore possible roles of ATGL in immune response, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.107854
PMCID: PMC2888432  PMID: 20424161
ATP; Fatty Acid Metabolism; Glucose; Lipase; Lipid Droplet; Macrophage; Phagocytosis; Triacylglycerol
17.  Investigation and Functional Characterization of Rare Genetic Variants in the Adipose Triglyceride Lipase in a Large Healthy Working Population 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(12):e1001239.
Recent studies demonstrated a strong influence of rare genetic variants on several lipid-related traits. However, their impact on free fatty acid (FFA) plasma concentrations, as well as the role of rare variants in a general population, has not yet been thoroughly addressed. The adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is encoded by the PNPLA2 gene and catalyzes the rate-limiting step of lipolysis. It represents a prominent candidate gene affecting FFA concentrations. We therefore screened the full genomic region of ATGL for mutations in 1,473 randomly selected individuals from the SAPHIR (Salzburg Atherosclerosis Prevention program in subjects at High Individual Risk) Study using a combined Ecotilling and sequencing approach and functionally investigated all detected protein variants by in-vitro studies. We observed 55 novel mostly rare genetic variants in this general population sample. Biochemical evaluation of all non-synonymous variants demonstrated the presence of several mutated but mostly still functional ATGL alleles with largely varying residual lipolytic activity. About one-quarter (3 out of 13) of the investigated variants presented a marked decrease or total loss of catalytic function. Genetic association studies using both continuous and dichotomous approaches showed a shift towards lower plasma FFA concentrations for rare variant carriers and an accumulation of variants in the lower 10%-quantile of the FFA distribution. However, the generally rather small effects suggest either only a secondary role of rare ATGL variants on the FFA levels in the SAPHIR population or a recessive action of ATGL variants. In contrast to these rather small effects, we describe here also the first patient with “neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy” (NLSDM) with a point mutation in the catalytic dyad, but otherwise intact protein.
Author Summary
The nature of the genetic variation underlying common traits is not yet completely understood. Recently, there has been a shift in the genetic research focus towards the elucidation of the influence of rare variants, which are thought to exert a strong impact on common traits. Circulating free fatty acids are immediate products of the triglyceride breakdown and represent a yet poorly addressed phenotype to study the impact of rare variants on lipolysis. Since ATGL (encoded by the PNPLA2 gene) controls the rate limiting step of lipolysis, we screened its whole gene region in 1,473 healthy individuals and found that 1 out of 13 individuals indeed carried at least one rare mutation. Biochemical investigations showed that, even in a healthy population, several missense variants lead to an impaired catalytic activity and 1 variant even produced a completely inactive protein. However, subsequent association studies revealed only small effects on the free fatty acids levels in the population. This suggests an only secondary role of rare ATGL variants on free fatty acids levels. More generally, we conclude that even in a healthy population pronounced allelic heterogeneity due to the presence of several rare variants may be common.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001239
PMCID: PMC3000363  PMID: 21170305
18.  ADIPOSE TRIGLYCERIDE LIPASE REGULATES BASAL LIPOLYSIS AND LIPID DROPLET SIZE IN ADIPOCYTES 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2008;105(6):1430-1436.
In adipocytes, lipid droplet (LD) size reflects a balance of triglyceride synthesis (lipogenesis) and hydrolysis (lipolysis). Perilipin A (Peri A), is the most abundant phosphoprotein on the surface of adipocyte LDs and has a crucial role in lipid storage and lipolysis. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) are the major rate-determining enzymes for lipolysis in adipocytes. Each of these proteins (Peri A, ATGL and HSL) have been demonstrated to regulate lipid storage and release in the adipocyte. However, in the absence of PKA stimulation (basal state), the lipases (ATGL and HSL) are located mainly in the cytoplasm, and their contribution to basal rates of lipolysis and influence on LD size are poorly understood. In this study, we utilize an adenoviral system to knockdown or overexpress ATGL and HSL in an engineered model system of adipocytes in the presence or absence of Peri A. We are able to demonstrate in our experimental model system, that in the basal state, LD size, triglyceride storage, and fatty acid release are mainly influenced by expression of ATGL. These results demonstrate for the first time the relative contributions of ATGL, HSL, and Peri A on determination of LD size in the absence of PKA-stimulation.
doi:10.1002/jcb.21964
PMCID: PMC2593643  PMID: 18980248
perilipin; ATGL; HSL; lipid droplet; adipocyte; lipolysis
19.  Contribution of novel ATGL missense mutations to the clinical phenotype of NLSD-M: a strikingly low amount of lipase activity may preserve cardiac function 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(24):5318-5328.
The lack of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), a patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing enzyme that hydrolyzes fatty acids from triacylglycerol (TAG) stored in multiple tissues, causes the autosomal recessive disorder neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy (NLSD-M). In two families of Lebanese and Italian origin presenting with NLSD-M, we identified two new missense mutations in highly conserved regions of ATGL (p.Arg221Pro and p.Asn172Lys) and a novel nonsense mutation (p.Trp8X). The Lebanese patients harbor homozygous p.Arg221Pro, whereas the Italian patients are heterozygotes for p.Asn172Lys and the p.Trp8X mutation. The p.Trp8X mutation results in a complete absence of ATGL protein, while the p.Arg221Pro and p.Asn172Lys mutations result in proteins with minimal lipolytic activity. Although these mutations did not affect putative catalytic residues or the lipid droplet (LD)-binding domain of ATGL, cytosolic LDs accumulated in cultured skin fibroblasts from the patients. The missense mutations might destabilize a random coil (p.Asn172Lys) or a helix (p.Arg221Pro) structure within or proximal to the patatin domain of the lipase, thereby interfering with the enzyme activity, while leaving intact the residues required to localize the protein to LDs. Overexpressing wild-type ATGL in one patient's fibroblasts corrected the metabolic defect and effectively reduced the number and area of cellular LDs. Despite the poor lipase activity in vitro, the Lebanese siblings have a mild myopathy and not clinically evident myocardial dysfunction. The patients of Italian origin show a late-onset and slowly progressive skeletal myopathy. These findings suggest that a small amount of correctly localized lipase activity preserves cardiac function in NLSD-M.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds388
PMCID: PMC3510752  PMID: 22990388
20.  Higher Levels of ATGL Are Associated with Exercise-Induced Enhancement of Lipolysis in Rat Epididymal Adipocytes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40876.
Background
In adipose cells, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) catalyzes the first step in adipocyte triacylglyceride hydrolysis, thereby regulating both basal and hormone-stimulated lipolysis. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism(s) underlying habitual exercise-induced adaptive modulation of ATGL in white adipocytes via alteration in transcription regulator and lipolytic cofactors.
Methodology/Principal Results
Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 2 groups a sedentary control group (CG) and a habitual exercise group (EG). The EG was subjected to running on a treadmill set at 5 days per week for 9 weeks. The CG was not subjected to running on a treadmill. In the EG, levels of ATGL mRNA and protein were elevated with a significant increase in lipolysis compared with the CG, accompanied by a significant increase in associations of CGI-58 with ATGL protein. Under these conditions, an upregulation of peroxisome proliferation-activated receptorg-2 (PPARg-2) was observed. In the EG, the addition of rosiglitazone further significantly increased the levels of ATGL protein compared with the CG. However, attenuated levels of the ATGL protein in adipocytes were obtained by the addition of insulin, which is known to inhibit the expression of ATGL, in both types of groups. Actually, levels of plasma insulin were significantly reduced in the EG compared with the CG.
Conclusions
These data suggest that elevated levels of ATGL are involved in the exercise-induced enhancement of lipolysis in primary adipocytes. The exact mechanism(s) underlying this phenomenon is associated, at least in part, with upregulated transcriptional activation of PPARg-2. In addition, exercise-induced lower circulation levels of insulin also correlate with habitual exercise-induced higher levels of ATGL in primary adipocytes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040876
PMCID: PMC3397928  PMID: 22815850
21.  Repression of exogenous gene expression by the retinoic acid target gene G0S2 
International Journal of Oncology  2013;42(5):1743-1753.
The G0/G1 switch gene 2 (G0S2) is rapidly induced by all-trans-retinoic acid (RA)-treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and other cells. G0S2 regulates lipolysis via inhibition of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL). This study found that retinoic acid receptor (RAR), but not retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonists induced G0S2 expression in APL cells. Novel G0S2 functions were uncovered that included repression of exogenous gene expression and transcriptional activity. Transient G0S2 transfection repressed the activities of multiple reporter constructs (including the retinoid-regulated species RARβ, UBE1L and G0S2); this occurred in diverse cell contexts. This inhibition was antagonized by siRNA-mediated G0S2 knockdown. To determine the inhibitory effects were not due to transient G0S2 expression, G0S2 was stably overex-pressed in cells without appreciable basal G0S2 expression. As expected, this repressed transcriptional activities. Intriguingly, transfection of G0S2 did not affect endogenous RARβ, UBE1L or G0S2 expression. Hence, only exogenously expressed genes were affected by G0S2. The domain responsible for this repression was localized to the G0S2 hydrophobic domain (HD). This was the same region responsible for the ability of G0S2 to inhibit ATGL activity. Whether an interaction with ATGL accounted for this new G0S2 activity was studied. Mimicking the inhibition of ATGL by oleic acid treatment that increased lipid droplet size or ATGL siRNA knockdown did not recapitulate G0S2 repressive effects. Engineered gain of ATGL expression did not rescue G0S2 transcriptional repression either. Thus, transcriptional repression by G0S2 did not depend on the ability of G0S2 to inhibit ATGL. Subcellular localization studies revealed that endogenous and exogenously-expressed G0S2 proteins were localized to the cytoplasm, particularly in the perinuclear region. Expression of a mutant G0S2 species that lacked the HD domain altered cytosolic G0S2 localization. This linked G0S2 subcellular localization to G0S2 transcriptional repression. The potential mechanisms responsible for this G0S2 repression are examined.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2013.1876
PMCID: PMC3661193  PMID: 23546556
retinoic acid; G0/G1 switch gene 2; transcriptional repression
22.  PPARγ regulates adipose triglyceride lipase in adipocytes in vitro and in vivo 
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) regulates adipocyte genes involved in adipogenesis and lipid metabolism and is the molecular target for thiazolidinedione (TZD) antidiabetic agents. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is a recently described triglyceride-specific lipase that is induced during adipogenesis and remains highly expressed in mature adipocytes. This study evaluates the ability of PPARγ to directly regulate ATGL expression in adipocytes in vitro and in vivo. In fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, ATGL mRNA and protein are increased by TZD and non-TZD PPARγ agonists in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Rosiglitazone-mediated induction of ATGL mRNA is rapid and is not inhibited by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, indicating that intervening protein synthesis is not required for this effect. Rosiglitazone-mediated induction of ATGL mRNA and protein is inhibited by the PPARγ-specific antagonist GW-9662 and is also significantly reduced following siRNA-mediated knockdown of PPARγ, supporting the direct transcriptional regulation of ATGL by PPARγ. In vivo, ATGL mRNA and protein are increased by rosiglitazone treatment in white and brown adipose tissue of mice with and without obesity due to high-fat diet or leptin deficiency. Thus, PPARγ positively regulates ATGL mRNA and protein expression in mature adipocytes in vitro and in adipose tissue in vivo, suggesting a role for ATGL in mediating PPARγ’s effects on lipid metabolism.
doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00122.2007
PMCID: PMC2819189  PMID: 17848638
peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ; thiazolidinediones; desnutrin; patatin-like phopholipase domain-containing protein A2; calcium-independent phospholipase A2-ζ
23.  Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 Suppresses Lipolysis, Stimulates Lipogenesis, and Promotes Fat Storage 
Diabetes  2010;59(4):775-781.
OBJECTIVE
In metazoans, target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) plays the key role in nutrient- and hormone-dependent control of metabolism. However, the role of TORC1 in regulation of triglyceride storage and metabolism remains largely unknown.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In this study, we analyzed the effect of activation and inhibition of the mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway on the expression of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), lipolysis, lipogenesis, and lipid storage in different mammalian cells.
RESULTS
Activation of mTORC1 signaling in 3T3-L1 adipocytes by ectopic expression of Rheb inhibits expression of ATGL and HSL at the level of transcription, suppresses lipolysis, increases de novo lipogenesis, and promotes intracellular accumulation of triglycerides. Inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin or by knockdown of raptor stimulates lipolysis primarily via activation of ATGL expression. Analogous results have been obtained in C2C12 myoblasts and mouse embryonic fibroblasts with genetic ablation of tuberous sclerosis 2 (TSC2) gene. Overexpression of ATGL in these cells antagonized the lipogenic effect of TSC2 knockout.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings demonstrate that mTORC1 promotes fat storage in mammalian cells by suppression of lipolysis and stimulation of de novo lipogenesis.
doi:10.2337/db09-1602
PMCID: PMC2844824  PMID: 20068142
24.  Adipose Triglyceride Lipase 
Diabetes  2006;55(1):148.
Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is a recently described adipose-enriched protein with triglyceride-specific lipase activity. ATGL shares the greatest sequence homology with adiponutrin, a nutritionally regulated protein of unclear biological function. Here we present a functional analysis of ATGL and adiponutrin and describe their regulation by insulin. Retroviral-mediated overexpression of ATGL in 3T3-L1 adipocytes increased basal and isoproterenol-stimulated glycerol and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) release, whereas siRNA-mediated knockdown of ATGL had the opposite effect. In contrast, siRNA-mediated knockdown of adiponutrin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes had no effect on glycerol or NEFA release. In mice, both ATGL and adiponutrin are nutritionally regulated in adipose tissue, with ATGL being upregulated and adiponutrin being downregulated by fasting. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, insulin decreased ATGL and increased adiponutrin expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner, suggesting that insulin directly mediates this nutritional regulation. In addition, adipose expression of ATGL was increased by insulin deficiency and decreased by insulin replacement in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice and was increased in fat-specific insulin receptor knockout mice, whereas adiponutrin showed the opposite pattern. These data suggest that murine ATGL but not adiponutrin contributes to net adipocyte lipolysis and that ATGL and adiponutrin are oppositely regulated by insulin both in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2819178  PMID: 16380488
25.  Myocardial ATGL Overexpression Decreases the Reliance on Fatty Acid Oxidation and Protects against Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(4):740-750.
Alterations in myocardial triacylglycerol content have been associated with poor left ventricular function, suggesting that enzymes involved in myocardial triacylglycerol metabolism play an important role in regulating contractile function. Myocardial triacylglycerol catabolism is mediated by adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), which is rate limiting for triacylglycerol hydrolysis. To address the influence of triacylglycerol hydrolysis on myocardial energy metabolism and function, we utilized mice with cardiomyocyte-specific ATGL overexpression (MHC-ATGL). Biochemical examination of MHC-ATGL hearts revealed chronically reduced myocardial triacylglycerol content but unchanged levels of long-chain acyl coenzyme A esters, ceramides, and diacylglycerols. Surprisingly, fatty acid oxidation rates were decreased in ex vivo perfused working hearts from MHC-ATGL mice, which was compensated by increased rates of glucose oxidation. Interestingly, reduced myocardial triacylglycerol content was associated with moderately enhanced in vivo systolic function in MHC-ATGL mice and increased isoproterenol-induced cell shortening of isolated primary cardiomyocytes. Most importantly, MHC-ATGL mice were protected from pressure overload-induced systolic dysfunction and detrimental structural remodeling following transverse aortic constriction. Overall, this study shows that ATGL overexpression is sufficient to alter myocardial energy metabolism and improve cardiac function.
doi:10.1128/MCB.06470-11
PMCID: PMC3272983  PMID: 22158969

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