Purpose of review
The family of three lipin proteins act as phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes required for glycerolipid biosynthesis, and also as transcriptional coactivators that regulate expression of lipid metabolism genes. The genes for lipin-1, lipin-2 and lipin-3 are expressed in key metabolic tissues, including adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver, but the physiological functions of each member of the family have not been fully elucidated. Here we examine the most recent studies that provide information about the roles of lipin proteins in metabolism and human disease.
Recent studies have identified mutations that cause lipin-1 or lipin-2 deficiency in humans, leading to acute myoglobinuria in childhood or the inflammatory disorder Majeed syndrome, respectively. The effects of lipin-1 deficiency appear to include both the loss of glycerolipid building blocks and the accumulation of lipid intermediates that disrupt cellular function. Several studies have demonstrated that polymorphisms in the LPIN1 and LPIN2 genes are associated with metabolic disease traits, including insulin sensitivity, diabetes, blood pressure, and response to thiazolidinedione drugs. Furthermore, lipin-1 expression levels in adipose tissue and/or liver are positively correlated with insulin sensitivity. Studies of lipin-1 in adipocytes have shed some light on its relationship with insulin sensitivity.
Lipin-1 and lipin-2 are required for normal lipid homeostasis, and have unique physiological roles. Future studies, for example using engineered mouse models, will be required to fully elucidate their specific roles in normal physiology and disease.
triglyceride; phosphatidic acid phosphatase; transcriptional coactivator; lipodystrophy; obesity; insulin resistance; myopathy
The lipin proteins are evolutionarily conserved proteins with roles in lipid metabolism and disease. There are three lipin protein family members in mammals and one or two orthologs in plants, invertebrates, and single-celled eukaryotes. Studies in yeast and mouse led to the identification of two distinct molecular functions of lipin proteins. Lipin proteins have phosphatidate phosphatase activity and catalyze the formation of diacylglycerol in the glycerol-3-phosphate pathway, implicating them in the regulation of triglyceride and phospholipid biosynthesis. Mammalian lipin proteins also possess transcriptional coactivator activity and have been implicated in the regulation of metabolic gene expression. Here we review key findings in the field that demonstrate roles for lipin family members in metabolic homeostasis and in rare human diseases, and we examine evidence implicating genetic variations in lipin genes in common metabolic dysregulation such as obesity, hyperinsulinemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
triglyceride; obesity; insulin resistance; phosphatidate phosphatase; transcriptional coactivator
Lipins are the founding members of a novel family of
Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate phosphatases (PAP1 enzymes) that play
key roles in fat metabolism and lipid biosynthesis. Despite their importance,
there is still little information on how their activity is regulated. Here we
demonstrate that the functions of lipin 1 and 2 are evolutionarily conserved
from unicellular eukaryotes to mammals. The two lipins display distinct
intracellular localization in HeLa M cells, with a pool of lipin 2 exhibiting
a tight membrane association. Small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of
lipin 1 leads to a dramatic decrease of the cellular PAP1 activity in HeLa M
cells, whereas silencing of lipin 2 leads to an increase of lipin 1 levels and
PAP1 activity. Consistent with their distinct functions in HeLa M cells, lipin
1 and 2 exhibit reciprocal patterns of protein expression in differentiating
3T3-L1 adipocytes. Lipin 2 levels increase in lipin 1-depleted 3T3-L1 cells
without rescuing the adipogenic defects, whereas depletion of lipin 2 does not
inhibit adipogenesis. Finally, we show that the PAP1 activity of both lipins
is inhibited by phosphorylation during mitosis, leading to a decrease in the
cellular PAP1 activity during cell division. We propose that distinct and
non-redundant functions of lipin 1 and 2 regulate lipid production during the
cell cycle and adipocyte differentiation.
A polybasic motif in the metabolic regulator lipin1 is both a membrane anchor and a nuclear localization sequence required for lipin1 function in phospholipid metabolism and adipogenesis.
Lipins are phosphatidic acid phosphatases with a pivotal role in regulation of triglyceride and glycerophospholipid metabolism. Lipin1 is also an amplifier of PGC-1α, a nuclear coactivator of PPAR-α responsive gene transcription. Lipins do not contain recognized membrane-association domains, but interaction of these enzymes with cellular membranes is necessary for access to their phospholipid substrate. We identified a role for a conserved polybasic amino acid motif in an N-terminal domain previously implicated as a determinant of nuclear localization in selective binding of lipin1β to phosphatidic acid, using blot overlay assays and model bilayer membranes. Studies using lipin1β polybasic motif variants establish that this region is also critical for nuclear import and raise the possibility that nuclear/cytoplasmic shuttling of lipin1β is regulated by PA. We used pharmacological agents and lipin1β polybasic motif mutants to explore the role of PA-mediated membrane association and nuclear localization on lipin1β function in phospholipid metabolism and adipogenic differentiation. We identify a role for the lipin1 polybasic motif as both a lipid binding motif and a primary nuclear localization sequence. These two functions are necessary for full expression of the biological activity of the protein in intracellular lipid metabolism and transcriptional control of adipogenesis.
Lipins are evolutionarily conserved proteins found from yeasts to humans. Mammalian and yeast lipin proteins have been shown to control gene expression and to enzymatically convert phosphatidate to diacylglycerol, an essential precursor in triacylglcerol (TAG) and phospholipid synthesis. Loss of lipin 1 in the mouse, but not in humans, leads to lipodystrophy and fatty liver disease. Here we show that the single lipin orthologue of Drosophila melanogaster (dLipin) is essential for normal adipose tissue (fat body) development and TAG storage. dLipin mutants are characterized by reductions in larval fat body mass, whole-animal TAG content, and lipid droplet size. Individual cells of the underdeveloped fat body are characterized by increased size and ultrastructural defects affecting cell nuclei, mitochondria, and autophagosomes. Under starvation conditions, dLipin is transcriptionally upregulated and functions to promote survival. Together, these data show that dLipin is a central player in lipid and energy metabolism, and they establish Drosophila as a genetic model for further studies of conserved functions of the lipin family of metabolic regulators.
Lipin family proteins are emerging as critical regulators of lipid metabolism. In triglyceride synthesis, lipins act as lipid phosphatase enzymes at the endoplasmic reticular membrane, catalyzing the dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to form diacylglycerol, which is the penultimate step in this process. However, lipin proteins are not integral membrane proteins and can rapidly translocate within the cell. In fact, emerging evidence suggests that lipins also play critical roles in the nucleus as transcriptional regulatory proteins. Thus, lipins are poised to regulate cellular lipid metabolism at multiple regulatory nodal points. This review summarizes the history of lipin proteins and discusses the current state of our understanding of lipin biology.
Lipin family members (lipin 1, 2, 3) are bi-functional proteins that dephosphorylate phosphatidic acid (PA) to produce diacylglycerol (DAG) and act in the nucleus to regulate gene expression. Although other components of the triglyceride synthesis pathway can form oligomeric complexes, it is unknown whether lipin proteins also exist as oligomers. In this study, by using various approaches, we revealed that lipin 1 formed stable homo-oligomers with itself and hetero-oligomers with lipin 2/3. Both the N- and C-terminal regions of lipin 1 mediate its oligomerization in a head-to-head/tail-to-tail manner. We also show that lipin 1 subcellular localization can be influenced through oligomerization, and the individual lipin 1 monomers in the oligomer function independently in catalyzing dephosphorylation of PA. This study provides evidence that lipin proteins function as oligomeric complexes and that the three mammalian lipin isoforms can form combinatorial units.
lipin; oligomer; FRET; phosphatidic acid phosphatase
Lipin-1 proteins are phosphatidic acid phosphatases catalyzing the conversion from phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol. Two alternative splicing isoforms, lipin-1α and -1β, are localized at different subcellular compartments. A third splicing isoform, lipin-1γ was recently cloned and its subcellular localization is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that lipin-1γ is localized to lipid droplets, an association mediated by a hydrophobic, lipin-1γ-specific domain. Additional expression of lipin-1γ altered lipid droplet morphology without affecting the triacylglycerol level. In human tissues, lipin-1γ is the main lipin-1 isoform expressed in normal human brain, suggesting a specialized role in regulating brain lipid metabolism.
Lipin; phosphatidic acid phosphatase; lipid droplets; brain
Lipin family proteins (lipin 1, 2, and 3) are bifunctional intracellular proteins that regulate metabolism by acting as coregulators of DNA-bound transcription factors and also dephosphorylate phosphatidate to form diacylglycerol [phosphatidate phosphohydrolase activity] in the triglyceride synthesis pathway. Herein, we report that lipin 1 is enriched in heart and that hearts of mice lacking lipin 1 (fld mice) exhibit accumulation of phosphatidate. We also demonstrate that the expression of the gene encoding lipin 1 (Lpin1) is under the control of the estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) and their coactivator the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). PGC-1α, ERRα, or ERRγ overexpression increased Lpin1 transcription in cultured ventricular myocytes and the ERRs were associated with response elements in the first intron of the Lpin1 gene. Concomitant RNAi-mediated knockdown of ERRα and ERRγ abrogated the induction of lipin 1 expression by PGC-1α overexpression. Consistent with these data, 3-fold overexpression of PGC-1α in intact myocardium of transgenic mice increased cardiac lipin 1 and ERRα/γ expression. Similarly, injection of the β2-adrenergic agonist clenbuterol induced PGC-1α and lipin 1 expression, and the induction in lipin 1 after clenbuterol occurred in a PGC-1α-dependent manner. In contrast, expression of PGC-1α, ERRα, ERRγ, and lipin 1 was down-regulated in failing heart. Cardiac phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase activity was also diminished, while cardiac phosphatidate content was increased, in failing heart. Collectively, these data suggest that lipin 1 is the principal lipin protein in the myocardium and is regulated in response to physiologic and pathologic stimuli that impact cardiac metabolism.
lipin; PGC-1α; metabolism; heart failure
Disruption of the gene BSCL2 causes a severe, generalised lipodystrophy, demonstrating the critical role of its protein product, seipin, in human adipose tissue development. Seipin is essential for adipocyte differentiation, whilst the study of seipin in non-adipose cells has suggested a role in lipid droplet formation. However, its precise molecular function remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that seipin can inducibly bind lipin 1, a phosphatidic acid (PA) phosphatase important for lipid synthesis and adipogenesis. Knockdown of seipin during early adipogenesis decreases the association of lipin 1 with membranes and increases the accumulation of its substrate PA. Conversely, PA levels are reduced in differentiating cells by overexpression of wild-type seipin but not by expression of a mutated seipin that is unable to bind lipin 1. Together our data identify lipin as the first example of a seipin-interacting protein and reveals a novel molecular function for seipin in developing adipocytes.
Seipin; Adipogenesis; Lipodystrophy; Lipin; Endoplasmic reticulum
Lipin 1 is a bifunctional protein that regulates gene transcription and, as a Mg2+-dependent phosphatidic acid phosphatase (PAP), is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of phospholipids and triacylglycerol. We describe here the functional interaction between lipin 1 and the nuclear factor of activated T cells c4 (NFATc4). Lipin 1 represses NFATc4 transcriptional activity through protein-protein interaction, and lipin 1 is present at the promoters of NFATc4 transcriptional targets in vivo. Catalytically active and inactive lipin 1 can suppress NFATc4 transcriptional activity, and this suppression may involve recruitment of histone deacetylases to target promoters. In fat pads from mice deficient for lipin 1 (fld mice) and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes depleted of lipin 1 there is increased expression of several NFAT target genes including tumor necrosis factor alpha, resistin, FABP4, and PPARγ. Finally, both lipin 1 protein and total PAP activity are decreased with increasing adiposity in the visceral, but not subcutaneous, fat pads of ob/ob mice. These observations place lipin 1 as a potentially important link between triacylglycerol synthesis and adipose tissue inflammation.
Binding and dephosphorylation of the yeast lipin Pah1p by its phosphatase Nem1p-Spo7p is essential for its membrane targeting and is mediated by a C-terminal acidic stretch on Pah1p. This results in the recruitment of Pah1p to the vicinity of lipid droplets, where it controls triglyceride and droplet biogenesis in an acidic tail–dependent manner.
Lipins are evolutionarily conserved phosphatidate phosphatases that perform key functions in phospholipid, triglyceride, and membrane biogenesis. Translocation of lipins on membranes requires their dephosphorylation by the Nem1p-Spo7p transmembrane phosphatase complex through a poorly understood mechanism. Here we identify the carboxy-terminal acidic tail of the yeast lipin Pah1p as an important regulator of this step. Deletion or mutations of the tail disrupt binding of Pah1p to the Nem1p-Spo7p complex and Pah1p membrane translocation. Overexpression of Nem1p-Spo7p drives the recruitment of Pah1p in the vicinity of lipid droplets in an acidic tail–dependent manner and induces lipid droplet biogenesis. Genetic analysis shows that the acidic tail is essential for the Nem1p-Spo7p–dependent activation of Pah1p but not for the function of Pah1p itself once it is dephosphorylated. Loss of the tail disrupts nuclear structure, INO1 gene expression, and triglyceride synthesis. Similar acidic sequences are present in the carboxy-terminal ends of all yeast lipin orthologues. We propose that acidic tail–dependent binding and dephosphorylation of Pah1p by the Nem1p-Spo7p complex is an important determinant of its function in lipid and membrane biogenesis.
Lipin-1 is a protein that has dual functions as a phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase (PAP) and a nuclear transcriptional coactivator. It remains unknown how the nuclear localization and coactivator functions of lipin-1 are regulated. Here, we show that lipin-1 (including both the alpha and beta isoforms) is modified by sumoylation at two consensus sumoylation sites. We are unable to detect sumoylation of the related proteins lipin-2 and lipin-3. Lipin-1 is sumoylated at relatively high levels in brain, where lipin-1α is the predominant form. In cultured embryonic cortical neurons and SH-SY5Y neuronal cells, ectopically expressed lipin-1α is localized in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, and the nuclear localization is abrogated by mutating the consensus sumyolation motifs. The sumoylation site mutant of lipin-1α loses the capacity to coactivate the transcriptional (co-) activators PGC-1α and MEF2, consistent with its nuclear exclusion. Thus, these results show that sumoylation facilitates the nuclear localization and transcriptional coactivator behavior of lipin-1α that we observe in cultured neuronal cells, and suggest that lipin-1α may act as a sumoylation-regulated transcriptional coactivator in brain.
Lipin-1 is a protein that exhibits dual functions as a phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase (PAP) enzyme in the triglyceride synthesis pathways and a transcriptional co-regulator. Our previous studies have shown that ethanol causes fatty liver by activation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1) and inhibition of hepatic AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) in mice. Here, we tested the hypothesis that AMPK-SREBP-1 signaling may be involved in ethanol-mediated up-regulation of lipin-1 gene expression. The effects of ethanol on lipin-1 were investigated in cultured hepatic cells and in the livers of chronic ethanol-fed mice. Ethanol exposure robustly induced activity of a mouse lipin-1 promoter, promoted cytoplasmic localization of lipin-1 and caused excess lipid accumulation both in cultured hepatic cells and in mouse livers. Mechanistic studies showed that ethanol-mediated induction of lipin-1 gene expression was inhibited by a known activator of AMPK or overexpression of a constitutively active form of AMPK. Importantly, overexpression of processed nuclear form of SREBP-1c (nSREBP-1c) abolished the ability of AICAR to suppress ethanol-mediated induction of lipin-1 gene expression level. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays further revealed that ethanol exposure significantly increased association of acetylated Histone H3 at lysine 9 (Lys9) with the SRE-containing region in the promoter of the lipin-1 gene. In conclusion, ethanol-induced up-regulation of lipin-1 gene expression is mediated through inhibition of AMPK and activation of SREBP-1.
Alcoholic fatty liver; signal transduction; lipid metabolism; acetylation; sumoylation
Inherited glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) deficiency is the second most frequent glycolytic erythroenzymopathy in humans. Patients present with non-spherocytic anemia of variable severity and with neuromuscular dysfunction. We previously described Chinese hamster (CHO) cell lines with mutations in GPI and loss of GPI activity. This resulted in a temperature sensitivity and severe reduction in the synthesis of glycerolipids due to a reduction in phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP). In the current article we attempt to describe the nature of this pleiotropic effect. We cloned and sequenced the CHO lipin 1 cDNA, a gene that codes for PAP activity. Overexpression of lipin 1 in the GPI-deficient cell line, GroD1 resulted in increased PAP activity, however it failed to restore glycerolipid biosynthesis. Fluorescent microscopy showed a failure of GPI-deficient cells to localize lipin 1α to the nucleus. We also found that glucose-6-phosphate levels in GroD1 cells were 10-fold over normal. Lowering glucose levels in the growth medium partially restored glycerolipid biosynthesis and nuclear localization of lipin 1α. Western blot analysis of the elements within the mTOR pathway, which influences lipin 1 activity, was consistent with an abnormal activation of this system. Combined, these data suggest that GPI deficiency results in an accumulation of glucose-6-phosphate, and possibly other glucose-derived metabolites, leading to activation of mTOR and sequestration of lipin 1 to the cytosol, preventing its proper functioning. These results shed light on the mechanism underlying the pathologies associated with inherited GPI deficiency and the variability in the severity of the symptoms observed in these patients.
Lipin 1 is a bifunctional protein that serves as a metabolic enzyme in the triglyceride synthesis pathway and regulates gene expression through direct protein-protein interactions with DNA-bound transcription factors in liver. Herein, we demonstrate that lipin 1 is a target gene of the hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α), which induces lipin 1 gene expression in cooperation with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) through a nuclear receptor response element in the first intron of the lipin 1 gene. The results of a series of gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies demonstrate that lipin 1 coactivates HNF4α to activate the expression of a variety of genes encoding enzymes involved in fatty acid catabolism. In contrast, lipin 1 reduces the ability of HNF4α to induce the expression of genes encoding apoproteins A4 and C3. Although the ability of lipin to diminish HNF4α activity on these promoters required a direct physical interaction between the two proteins, lipin 1 did not occupy the promoters of the repressed genes and enhances the intrinsic activity of HNF4α in a promoter-independent context. Thus, the induction of lipin 1 by HNF4α may serve as a mechanism to affect promoter selection to direct HNF4α to promoters of genes encoding fatty acid oxidation enzymes.
Three lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs) regulate cell signaling by modifying the concentrations of a variety of lipid phosphates versus their dephosphorylated products. In particular, the LPPs are normally considered to regulate signaling by the phospholipase D (PLD) pathway by converting phosphatidate (PA) to diacylglycerol (DAG). LPP activities do modulate the accumulations of PA and DAG following PLD activation, but this could also involve an effect upstream of PLD activation. The active sites of the LPPs are on the exterior surface of plasma membranes, or on the luminal surface of internal membranes. Consequently, the actions of the LPPs in metabolizing PA formed by PLD1 or PLD2 should depend on the access of this substrate to the active site of the LPPs. Alternatively, PA generated on the cytosolic surface of membranes should be readily accessible to the family of specific phosphatidate phosphatases, namely the lipins. Presently, there is only indirect evidence for the lipins participating in cell signaling following PLD activation. So far, we know relatively little about how individual LPPs and specific phosphatidate phosphatases (lipins) modulate cell signaling through controlling the turnover of bioactive lipids that are formed after PLD activation.
Diacylglycerol; lysophosphatidate; phosphatidate; phospholipase D; triacylglycerol synthesis
Human lipin1 catalyzes the highly regulated conversion of phosphatidic acids to diacylglycerides. Lipin’s cellular location, protein partners, and biological function are directed by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation events catalyzed by the phosphoserine phosphatase dullard. To define the determinants of dullard substrate recognition and catalysis, and hence, lipin regulation, steady-state kinetic analysis was performed on phosphoserine-bearing nonapeptides based on the phosphorylation sites of lipin. The results demonstrate that dullard shows specificity toward the peptide corresponding to the insulin-dependent phosphorylation site (Ser106) of lipin with kcat/Km = 1 × 104 M−1 s−1. These results are consistent with a coil/loop structure for the insulin-dependent phosphorylation site on human lipin1 and make the requirement for an adaptor protein to confer activity such as that proposed for the yeast homologue, unlikely.
protein phosphoserine phosphatase; HAD superfamily; phosphatidic acid phosphatase
Pah1p promotes lipid droplet assembly independent of its role in triacylglycerol synthesis.
Lipins are phosphatidate phosphatases that generate diacylglycerol (DAG). In this study, we report that yeast lipin, Pah1p, controls the formation of cytosolic lipid droplets. Disruption of PAH1 resulted in a 63% decrease in droplet number, although total neutral lipid levels did not change. This was accompanied by an accumulation of neutral lipids in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The droplet biogenesis defect was not a result of alterations in neutral lipid ratios. No droplets were visible in the absence of both PAH1 and steryl acyltransferases when grown in glucose medium, even though the strain produces as much triacylglycerol as wild type. The requirement of PAH1 for normal droplet formation can be bypassed by a knockout of DGK1. Nem1p, the activator of Pah1p, localizes to a single punctum per cell on the ER that is usually next to a droplet, suggesting that it is a site of droplet assembly. Overall, this study provides strong evidence that DAG generated by Pah1p is important for droplet biogenesis.
Stress is a risk factor for several cardiovascular pathologies. PPARα holds a fundamental role in control of lipid homeostasis by directly regulating genes involved in fatty acid transport and oxidation. Importantly, PPARα agonists are effective in raising HDL-cholesterol and lowering triglycerides, properties that reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases. This study investigated the role of stress and adrenergic receptor (AR)-related pathways in PPARα and HNF4α regulation and signaling in mice following repeated restraint stress or treatment with AR-antagonists administered prior to stress to block AR-linked pathways. Repeated restraint stress up-regulated Pparα and its target genes in the liver, including Acox, Acot1, Acot4, Cyp4a10, Cyp4a14 and Lipin2, an effect that was highly correlated with Hnf4α. In vitro studies using primary hepatocyte cultures treated with epinephrine or AR-agonists confirmed that hepatic AR/cAMP/PKA/CREB- and JNK-linked pathways are involved in PPARα and HNF4α regulation. Notably, restraint stress, independent of PPARα, suppressed plasma triglyceride levels. This stress-induced effect could be attributed in part to hormone sensitive lipase activation in the white adipose tissue, which was not prevented by the increased levels of perilipin. Overall, this study identifies a mechanistic basis for the modification of lipid homeostasis following stress and potentially indicates novel roles for PPARα and HNF4α in stress-induced lipid metabolism.
The mammalian Phospholipase D MitoPLD facilitates mitochondrial fusion by generating the signaling lipid phosphatidic acid (PA). The Drosophila MitoPLD homolog Zucchini (Zuc), a proposed cytoplasmic nuclease, is required for piRNA generation, a critical event in germline development. We show that Zuc localizes to mitochondria and has MitoPLD-like activity. Conversely, MitoPLD−/− mice exhibit the meiotic arrest, DNA damage, and male sterility characteristic of mice lacking piRNAs. The primary function of MitoPLD appears to be the generation of mitochondrial-surface PA. This PA in turn recruits the phosphatase Lipin 1, which converts PA to diacylglycerol and promotes mitochondrial fission, suggesting a mechanism for mitochondrial morphology homeostasis. MitoPLD and Lipin 1 have opposing effects on mitochondria length and on intermitochondrial cement (nuage), a structure found between aggregated mitochondria that is implicated in piRNA generation. We propose that mitochondrial-surface PA generated by MitoPLD / Zuc recruits or activates nuage components critical for piRNA production.
Phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes catalyze the dephosphorylation of phosphatidate, yielding diacylglycerol and inorganic phosphate. In eukaryotic cells, PAP activity has a central role in the synthesis of phospholipids and triacylglycerol through its product diacylglycerol, and it also generates and/or degrades lipid-signaling molecules that are related to phosphatidate. There are two types of PAP enzyme, Mg2+ dependent (PAP1) and Mg2+ independent (PAP2), but only genes encoding PAP2 enzymes had been identified until recently, when a gene (PAH1) encoding a PAP1 enzyme was found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This discovery has revealed a molecular function of the mammalian protein lipin, a deficiency of which causes lipodystrophy in mice. With molecular information now available for both types of PAP, the specific roles of these enzymes in lipid metabolism are being clarified.
Through analysis of mice with spatially and temporally restricted inactivation of Lpin1, we characterized its cell autonomous function in both white (WAT) and brown (BAT) adipocyte development and maintenance. We observed that the lipin 1 inactivation in adipocytes of aP2Cre/+/LpfEx2-3/fEx2-3 mice resulted in lipodystrophy and the presence of adipocytes with multilocular lipid droplets. We further showed that time-specific loss of lipin 1 in mature adipocytes in aP2Cre-ERT2/+/LpfEx2-3/fEx2-3 mice led to their replacement by newly formed Lpin1-positive adipocytes, thus establishing a role for lipin 1 in mature adipocyte maintenance. Importantly, we observed that the presence of newly formed Lpin1-positive adipocytes in aP2Cre-ERT2/+/LpfEx2-3/fEx2-3 mice protected these animals against WAT inflammation and hepatic steatosis induced by a high-fat diet. Loss of lipin 1 also affected BAT development and function, as revealed by histological changes, defects in the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα), PGC-1α, and UCP1, and functionally by altered cold sensitivity. Finally, our data indicate that phosphatidic acid, which accumulates in WAT of animals lacking lipin 1 function, specifically inhibits differentiation of preadipocytes. Together, these observations firmly demonstrate a cell autonomous role of lipin 1 in WAT and BAT biology and indicate its potential as a therapeutical target for the treatment of obesity.
Cholesterol metabolism is tightly regulated by both cholesterol and its metabolites in the mammalian liver, but the regulatory mechanism of triacylglycerol (TG) synthesis remains to be elucidated. Lipin, which catalyzes the conversion of phosphatidate to diacylglycerol, is a key enzyme involved in de novo TG synthesis in the liver via the glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) pathway. However, the regulatory mechanisms for the expression of lipin in the liver are not well understood.
Apolipoprotein E-knock out (apoE-KO) mice were fed a chow supplemented with 1.25% cholesterol (high-Chol diet). Cholesterol and bile acids were highly increased in the liver within a week. However, the amount of TG in very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), but not in the liver, was reduced by 78%. The epididymal adipose tissue was almost eradicated in the long term. DNA microarray and real-time RT-PCR analyses revealed that the mRNA expression of all the genes in the G3P pathway in the liver was suppressed in the high-Chol diet apoE-KO mice. In particular, the mRNA and protein expression of lipin-1 and lipin-2 was markedly decreased, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), which up-regulates the transcription of lipin-1, was also suppressed. In vitro analysis using HepG2 cells revealed that the protein expression of lipin-2 was suppressed by treatment with taurocholic acid.
These data using apoE-KO mice indicate that cholesterol and its metabolites are involved in regulating TG metabolism through a suppression of lipin-1 and lipin-2 in the liver. This research provides evidence for the mechanism of lipin expression in the liver.
Triglycerides and phospholipids play an important role in epidermal permability barrier formation and function. They are synthesized de novo in the epidermis via the glycerol-3-phosphate pathway, catalyzed sequentially by a group of enzymes that have multiple isoforms including glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT), 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT), Lipin and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT). Here we review the current knowledge of GPAT, AGPAT, Lipin and DGAT enzymes in keratinocytes/epidermis focusing on the expression levels of the various isoforms and their localization in mouse epidermis. Additionally, the factors regulating their gene expression, including calcium induced differentiation, PPAR and LXR activators, and the effect of acute permeability barrier disruption will be discussed.
glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase; 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase; lipin; diacylglycerol acyltransferase; human keratinocytes; epidermis