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1.  Lipins, Lipinopathies, and the Modulation of Cellular Lipid Storage and Signaling 
Progress in lipid research  2013;52(3):10.1016/j.plipres.2013.04.001.
Members of the lipin protein family are phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes, which catalyze the dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, the penultimate step in TAG synthesis. Lipins are unique among the glycerolipid biosynthetic enzymes in that they also promote fatty acid oxidation through their activity as co-regulators of gene expression by DNA-bound transcription factors. Lipin function has been evolutionarily conserved from a single ortholog in yeast to the mammalian family of three lipin proteins—lipin-1, lipin-2, and lipin-3. In mice and humans, the levels of lipin activity are a determinant of TAG storage in diverse cell types, and humans with deficiency in lipin-1 or lipin-2 have severe metabolic diseases. Recent work has highlighted the complex physiological interactions between members of the lipin protein family, which exhibit both overlapping and unique functions in specific tissues. The analysis of “lipinopathies” in mouse models and in humans has revealed an important role for lipin activity in the regulation of lipid intermediates (phosphatidate and diacylglycerol), which influence fundamental cellular processes including adipocyte and nerve cell differentiation, adipocyte lipolysis, and hepatic insulin signaling. The elucidation of lipin molecular and physiological functions could lead to novel approaches to modulate cellular lipid storage and metabolic disease.
PMCID: PMC3830937  PMID: 23603613
2.  Lipin-1 and lipin-3 together determine adiposity in vivo☆ 
Molecular Metabolism  2013;3(2):145-154.
The lipin protein family of phosphatidate phosphatases has an established role in triacylglycerol synthesis and storage. Physiological roles for lipin-1 and lipin-2 have been identified, but the role of lipin-3 has remained mysterious. Using lipin single- and double-knockout models we identified a cooperative relationship between lipin-3 and lipin-1 that influences adipogenesis in vitro and adiposity in vivo. Furthermore, natural genetic variations in Lpin1 and Lpin3 expression levels across 100 mouse strains correlate with adiposity. Analysis of PAP activity in additional metabolic tissues from lipin single- and double-knockout mice also revealed roles for lipin-1 and lipin-3 in spleen, kidney, and liver, for lipin-1 alone in heart and skeletal muscle, and for lipin-1 and lipin-2 in lung and brain. Our findings establish that lipin-1 and lipin-3 cooperate in vivo to determine adipose tissue PAP activity and adiposity, and may have implications in understanding the protection of lipin-1-deficient humans from overt lipodystrophy.
PMCID: PMC3953701  PMID: 24634820
Gene family; Knockout mouse; Adipogenesis; Triacylglycerol; Glycerolipid biosynthesis
3.  Ontogenetic Expression of Lpin2 and Lpin3 Genes and Their Associations with Traits in Two Breeds of Chinese Fat-tailed Sheep 
Lipins play dual function in lipid metabolism by serving as phosphatidate phosphatase and transcriptional co-regulators of gene expression. Mammalian lipin proteins consist of lipin1, lipin2, and lipin3 and are encoded by their respective genes Lpin1, Lpin2, and Lpin3. To date, most studies are concerned with Lpin1, only a few have addressed Lpin2 and Lpin3. Ontogenetic expression of Lpin2 and Lpin3 and their associations with traits would help to explore their molecular and physiological functions in sheep. In this study, 48 animals with an equal number of males and females each for both breeds of fat-tailed sheep such as Guangling Large Tailed (GLT) and Small Tailed Han (STH) were chosen to evaluate the ontogenetic expression of Lpin2 and Lpin3 from eight different tissues and months of age by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Associations between gene expression and slaughter and tail traits were also analyzed. The results showed that Lpin2 mRNA was highly expressed in perirenal and tail fats, and was also substantially expressed in liver, kidney, reproductive organs (testis and ovary), with the lowest levels in small intestine and femoral biceps. Lpin3 mRNA was prominently expressed in liver and small intestine, and was also expressed at high levels in kidney, perirenal and tail fats as well as reproductive organs (testis and ovary), with the lowest level in femoral biceps. Global expression of Lpin2 and Lpin3 in GLT both were significantly higher than those in STH. Spatiotemporal expression showed that the highest levels of Lpin2 expression occurred at 10 months of age in two breeds of sheep, with the lowest expression at 2 months of age in STH and at 8 months of age in GLT. The greatest levels of Lpin3 expression occurred at 4 months of age in STH and at 10 months of age in GLT, with the lowest expression at 12 months of age in STH and at 8 months of age in GLT. Breed and age significantly influenced the tissue expression patterns of Lpin2 and Lpin3, respectively, and sex significantly influenced the spatiotemporal expression patterns of Lpin3. Meanwhile, Lpin2 and Lpin3 mRNA expression both showed significant correlations with slaughter and tail traits, and the associations appear to be related with the ontogenetic expression as well as the potential functions of lipin2 and lipin3 in sheep.
PMCID: PMC4811783  PMID: 26950863
Fattailed Sheep; Lpin2; Lpin3; Expression; Associations; Traits
4.  Redundant roles of the phosphatidate phosphatase family in triacylglycerol synthesis in human adipocytes 
Diabetologia  2016;59:1985-1994.
In mammals, the evolutionary conserved family of Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate phosphatases (PAP1), involved in phospholipid and triacylglycerol synthesis, consists of lipin-1, lipin-2 and lipin-3. While mutations in the murine Lpin1 gene cause lipodystrophy and its knockdown in mouse 3T3-L1 cells impairs adipogenesis, deleterious mutations of human LPIN1 do not affect adipose tissue distribution. However, reduced LPIN1 and PAP1 activity has been described in participants with type 2 diabetes. We aimed to characterise the roles of all lipin family members in human adipose tissue and adipogenesis.
The expression of the lipin family was analysed in adipose tissue in a cross-sectional study. Moreover, the effects of lipin small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated depletion on in vitro human adipogenesis were assessed.
Adipose tissue gene expression of the lipin family is altered in type 2 diabetes. Depletion of every lipin family member in a human Simpson–Golabi–Behmel syndrome (SGBS) pre-adipocyte cell line, alters expression levels of adipogenic transcription factors and lipid biosynthesis genes in early stages of differentiation. Lipin-1 knockdown alone causes a 95% depletion of PAP1 activity. Despite the reduced PAP1 activity and alterations in early adipogenesis, lipin-silenced cells differentiate and accumulate neutral lipids. Even combinatorial knockdown of lipins shows mild effects on triacylglycerol accumulation in mature adipocytes.
Overall, our data support the hypothesis of alternative pathways for triacylglycerol synthesis in human adipocytes under conditions of repressed lipin expression. We propose that induction of alternative lipid phosphate phosphatases, along with the inhibition of lipid hydrolysis, contributes to the maintenance of triacylglycerol content to near normal levels.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-016-4018-0) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC4969345  PMID: 27344312
Basic science; Cell lines; Human; Lipid metabolism
5.  Inactivation of the Host Lipin Gene Accelerates RNA Virus Replication through Viral Exploitation of the Expanded Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(2):e1003944.
RNA viruses take advantage of cellular resources, such as membranes and lipids, to assemble viral replicase complexes (VRCs) that drive viral replication. The host lipins (phosphatidate phosphatases) are particularly interesting because these proteins play key roles in cellular decisions about membrane biogenesis versus lipid storage. Therefore, we examined the relationship between host lipins and tombusviruses, based on yeast model host. We show that deletion of PAH1 (phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase), which is the single yeast homolog of the lipin gene family of phosphatidate phosphatases, whose inactivation is responsible for proliferation and expansion of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, facilitates robust RNA virus replication in yeast. We document increased tombusvirus replicase activity in pah1Δ yeast due to the efficient assembly of VRCs. We show that the ER membranes generated in pah1Δ yeast is efficiently subverted by this RNA virus, thus emphasizing the connection between host lipins and RNA viruses. Thus, instead of utilizing the peroxisomal membranes as observed in wt yeast and plants, TBSV readily switches to the vastly expanded ER membranes in lipin-deficient cells to build VRCs and support increased level of viral replication. Over-expression of the Arabidopsis Pah2p in Nicotiana benthamiana decreased tombusvirus accumulation, validating that our findings are also relevant in a plant host. Over-expression of AtPah2p also inhibited the ER-based replication of another plant RNA virus, suggesting that the role of lipins in RNA virus replication might include several more eukaryotic viruses.
Author Summary
Genetic diseases alter cellular pathways and they likely influence pathogen-host interactions as well. To test the relationship between a key cellular gene, whose mutation causes genetic diseases, and a pathogen, the authors have chosen the cellular lipins. Lipins are involved in a key cellular decision on using lipids for membrane biogenesis or for storage. Spontaneous mutations in the LIPIN1 gene in mammals, which cause impaired lipin-1 function, contribute to common metabolic dysregulation and several major diseases, such as obesity, hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver distrophy and hypertension. In this work, the authors tested if tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV), which, similar to many (+)RNA viruses, depends on host membrane biogenesis, is affected by deletion of the single lipin gene (PAH1) in yeast model host. They show that pah1Δ yeast supports increased replication of TBSV. They demonstrate that TBSV takes advantage of the expanded ER membranes in lipin-deficient yeast to efficiently assemble viral replicase complexes. Their findings suggest possible positive effect of a genetic disease caused by mutation on the replication of an infectious agent.
PMCID: PMC3930575  PMID: 24586157
6.  Lipin Is a Central Regulator of Adipose Tissue Development and Function in Drosophila melanogaster ▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(8):1646-1656.
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.
PMCID: PMC3126333  PMID: 21300783
7.  Myeloid Cell-Specific Lipin-1 Deficiency Stimulates Endocrine Adiponectin-FGF15 Axis and Ameliorates Ethanol-Induced Liver Injury in Mice 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34117.
Lipin-1 is a phosphatidate phosphohydrolase (PAP) required for the generation of diacylglycerol during glycerolipid synthesis, and exhibits dual functions in the regulation of lipid metabolism. Lipin-1 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). In the present study, we assessed lipin-1 function in myeloid cells in ALD using a myeloid cell-specific lipin-1 knockout (mLipin-1KO) mouse model. Utilizing the Gao-binge ethanol feeding protocol, matched mLipin-1KO mice and littermate loxP control (WT) mice were pair-fed with either an ethanol-containing diet or an ethanol-free diet (control). Surprisingly, deletion of lipin-1 in myeloid cells dramatically attenuated liver inflammatory responses and ameliorated liver injury that would normally occur following the ethanol feeding protocol, but slightly exacerbated the ethanol-induced steatosis in mice. Mechanistically, myeloid cell-specific lipin-1 deficiency concomitantly increased the fat-derived adiponectin and ileum-derived fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 15. In concordance with concerted elevation of circulating adiponectin and FGF15, myeloid cell-specific lipin-1 deficiency diminished hepatic nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activity, limited liver inflammatory responses, normalized serum levels of bile acids, and protected mice from liver damage after ethanol challenge. Our novel data demonstrate that myeloid cell-specific deletion of lipin-1 ameliorated inflammation and alcoholic hepatitis in mice via activation of endocrine adiponectin-FGF15 signaling.
PMCID: PMC5036185  PMID: 27666676
8.  The lipin protein family: dual roles in lipid biosynthesis and gene expression 
FEBS letters  2007;582(1):90-96.
The prevalence of obesity in the western world has focused attention on factors that influence triglyceride biosynthesis, storage, and utilization. Members of the lipin protein family have a newly discovered enzymatic role in triglyceride and phospholipid biosynthesis as a phosphatidate phosphatase, and also act as an inducible transcriptional coactivator in conjunction with PGC-1α and PPARα. Through these activities, the founding member of the family, lipin-1, influences lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis in diverse tissues including adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver. The physiological roles of lipin-2 and lipin-3 are less well defined, but are likely to carry out similar functions in glycerolipid biosynthesis and gene expression in a distinct tissue distribution.
PMCID: PMC2848953  PMID: 18023282
adipose tissue; ipodystrophy; obesity; triaclyglycerol; phosphatidate phosphatase; transcriptional coactivator
9.  A Phosphatidic Acid Binding/Nuclear Localization Motif Determines Lipin1 Function in Lipid Metabolism and Adipogenesis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(18):3171-3181.
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.
PMCID: PMC2938383  PMID: 20660155
10.  Cardiac lipin 1 expression is regulated by the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ coactivator 1α/estrogen related receptor axis 
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.
PMCID: PMC3104300  PMID: 21549711
lipin; PGC-1α; metabolism; heart failure
11.  Combination of lipid metabolism alterations and their sensitivity to inflammatory cytokines in human lipin-1-deficient myoblasts 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2013;1832(12):2103-2114.
Lipin-1 deficiency is associated with massive rhabdomyolysis episodes in humans, precipitated by febrile illnesses. Despite well-known roles of lipin-1 in lipid biosynthesis and transcriptional regulation, the pathogenic mechanisms leading to rhabdomyolysis remain unknown. Here we show that primary myoblasts from lipin-1-deficient patients exhibit a dramatic decrease in LPIN1 expression and phosphatidic acid phosphatase 1 activity, and a significant accumulation of lipid droplets (LD). The expression levels of LPIN1-target genes [peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors delta and alpha (PPARδ, PPARα), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase, very long (ACADVL), carnitine palmitoyltransferase IB and 2 (CPT1B and CPT2)] were not affected while lipin-2 protein level, a closely related member of the family, was increased. Microarray analysis of patients’ myotubes identified 19 down-regulated and 51 up-regulated genes, indicating pleiotropic effects of lipin-1 deficiency. Special attention was paid to the up-regulated ACACB (acetyl-CoA carboxylase beta), a key enzyme in the fatty acid synthesis/oxidation balance. We demonstrated that overexpression of ACACB was associated with free fatty acid accumulation in patients’ myoblasts whereas malonyl-carnitine (as a measure of malonyl-CoA) and CPT1 activity were in the normal range in basal conditions accordingly to the normal daily activity reported by the patients. Remarkably ACACB invalidation in patients’ myoblasts decreased LD number and size while LPIN1 invalidation in controls induced LD accumulation. Further, pro-inflammatory treatments tumor necrosis factor alpha + Interleukin-1beta(TNF1α + IL-1β) designed to mimic febrile illness, resulted in increased malonyl-carnitine levels, reduced CPT1 activity and enhanced LD accumulation, a phenomenon reversed by dexamethasone and TNFα or IL-1β inhibitors. Our data suggest that the pathogenic mechanism of rhabdomyolysis in lipin-1-deficient patients combines the predisposing constitutive impairment of lipid metabolism and its exacerbation by pro-inflammatory cytokines.
PMCID: PMC4007099  PMID: 23928362
Rhabdomyolysis; Lipin-1; PAP1; ACACB; Lipid droplet; Inflammation
12.  Dietary Cholesterol Reduces Plasma Triacylglycerol in Apolipoprotein E-Null Mice: Suppression of Lipin-1 and -2 in the Glycerol-3-Phosphate Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e22917.
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.
Methodology/Principal Findings
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.
PMCID: PMC3153461  PMID: 21857965
13.  Lipins: Multifunctional Lipid Metabolism Proteins 
Annual review of nutrition  2010;30:257-272.
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.
PMCID: PMC3738581  PMID: 20645851
triglyceride; obesity; insulin resistance; phosphatidate phosphatase; transcriptional coactivator
14.  Alterations in Hepatic Metabolism in fld Mice Reveal a Role for Lipin 1 in Regulating VLDL-Triacylglyceride Secretion 
Lipin 1 controls fatty acid metabolism in the nucleus as a transcriptional regulator and in the cytosol as an enzyme catalyzing the penultimate step in phosphoglycerol triacylglyceride (TAG) synthesis. We sought to evaluate the effects of lipin 1 on hepatic TAG synthesis and secretion by gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches.
Methods and Results
Rates of TAG synthesis were not impaired in hepatocytes isolated from adult lipin 1—deficient (fld) mice and were actually increased in 14-day-old fld mice. Additionally, compared to littermate controls, VLDL-TAG secretion rates were markedly increased in fld mice of both ages. Lipin 1 overexpression did not alter TAG synthesis rates but significantly suppressed VLDL-TAG secretion. The lipin 1-mediated suppression of VLDL-TAG secretion was linked to the peptide motif mediating its transcriptional-regulatory effects. However, the expression of candidate genes required for VLDL assembly and secretion was unaltered by lipin 1 activation or deficiency. Finally, the hepatic expression of lipin 1 was diminished in obese insulin-resistant mice, whereas adenoviral-mediated overexpression of lipin 1 in liver of these mice inhibits VLDL-TAG secretion and improves hepatic insulin signaling.
Collectively, these studies reveal new and unexpected effects of lipin 1 on hepatic TAG metabolism and obesity-related hepatic insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC2655237  PMID: 18669885
lipin 1; liver; triglyceride; VLDL secretion; dyslipidemia
15.  Rhabdomyolysis-Associated Mutations in Human LPIN1 Lead to Loss of Phosphatidic Acid Phosphohydrolase Activity 
JIMD Reports  2015;23:113-122.
Rhabdomyolysis is an acute syndrome due to extensive injury of skeletal muscle. Recurrent rhabdomyolysis is often caused by inborn errors in intermediary metabolism, and recent work has suggested that mutations in the human gene encoding lipin 1 (LPIN1) may be a common cause of recurrent rhabdomyolysis in children. Lipin 1 dephosphorylates phosphatidic acid to form diacylglycerol (phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase; PAP) and acts as a transcriptional regulatory protein to control metabolic gene expression. Herein, a 3-year-old boy with severe recurrent rhabdomyolysis was determined to be a compound heterozygote for a novel c.1904T>C (p.Leu635Pro) substitution and a previously reported genomic deletion of exons 18–19 (E766-S838_del) in LPIN1. Western blotting with patient muscle biopsy lysates demonstrated a marked reduction in lipin 1 protein, while immunohistochemical staining for lipin 1 showed abnormal subcellular localization. We cloned cDNAs to express recombinant lipin 1 proteins harboring pathogenic mutations and showed that the E766-S838_del allele was not expressed at the RNA or protein level. Lipin 1 p.Leu635Pro was expressed, but the protein was less stable, was aggregated in the cytosol, and was targeted for proteosomal degradation. Another pathogenic single amino acid substitution, lipin 1 p.Arg725His, was well expressed and retained its transcriptional regulatory function. However, both p.Leu635Pro and p.Arg725His proteins were found to be deficient in PAP activity. Kinetic analyses demonstrated a loss of catalysis rather than diminished substrate binding. These data suggest that loss of lipin 1-mediated PAP activity may be involved in the pathogenesis of rhabdomyolysis in lipin 1 deficiency.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this chapter (doi:10.1007/8904_2015_440) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4484911  PMID: 25967228
16.  Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Promotes LIPIN2-Dependent Hepatic Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes  2011;60(4):1072-1081.
Diet-induced obesity (DIO) is linked to peripheral insulin resistance—a major predicament in type 2 diabetes. This study aims to identify the molecular mechanism by which DIO-triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress promotes hepatic insulin resistance in mouse models.
C57BL/6 mice and primary hepatocytes were used to evaluate the role of LIPIN2 in ER stress-induced hepatic insulin resistance. Tunicamycin, thapsigargin, and lipopolysaccharide were used to invoke acute ER stress conditions. To promote chronic ER stress, mice were fed with a high-fat diet for 8–12 weeks. To verify the role of LIPIN2 in hepatic insulin signaling, adenoviruses expressing wild-type or mutant LIPIN2, and shRNA for LIPIN2 were used in animal studies. Plasma glucose, insulin levels as well as hepatic free fatty acids, diacylglycerol (DAG), and triacylglycerol were assessed. Additionally, glucose tolerance, insulin tolerance, and pyruvate tolerance tests were performed to evaluate the metabolic phenotype of these mice.
LIPIN2 expression was enhanced in mouse livers by acute ER stress–inducers or by high-fat feeding. Transcriptional activation of LIPIN2 by ER stress is mediated by activating transcription factor 4, as demonstrated by LIPIN2 promoter assays, Western blot analyses, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Knockdown of hepatic LIPIN2 in DIO mice reduced fasting hyperglycemia and improved hepatic insulin signaling. Conversely, overexpression of LIPIN2 impaired hepatic insulin signaling in a phosphatidic acid phosphatase activity–dependent manner.
These results demonstrate that ER stress–induced LIPIN2 would contribute to the perturbation of hepatic insulin signaling via a DAG-protein kinase C ε–dependent manner in DIO mice.
PMCID: PMC3064081  PMID: 21357464
17.  Evaluating the Role of LPIN1 Variation in Insulin Resistance, Body Weight, and Human Lipodystrophy in U.K. Populations 
Diabetes  2008;57(9):2527-2533.
OBJECTIVE— Loss of lipin 1 activity causes lipodystrophy and insulin resistance in the fld mouse, and LPIN1 expression and common genetic variation were recently suggested to influence adiposity and insulin sensitivity in humans. We aimed to conduct a comprehensive association study to clarify the influence of common LPIN1 variation on adiposity and insulin sensitivity in U.K. populations and to examine the role of LPIN1 mutations in insulin resistance syndromes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHOD— Twenty-two single nucleotide polymorphisms tagging common LPIN1 variation were genotyped in Medical Research Council (MRC) Ely (n = 1,709) and Hertfordshire (n = 2,901) population-based cohorts. LPIN1 exons, exon/intron boundaries, and 3′ untranslated region were sequenced in 158 patients with idiopathic severe insulin resistance (including 23 lipodystrophic patients) and 48 control subjects.
RESULTS— We found no association between LPIN1 single nucleotide polymorphisms and fasting insulin but report a nominal association between rs13412852 and BMI (P = 0.042) in a meta-analysis of 8,504 samples from in-house and publicly available studies. Three rare nonsynonymous variants (A353T, R552K, and G582R) were detected in severely insulin-resistant patients. However, these did not cosegregate with disease in affected families, and Lipin1 protein expression and phosphorylation in patients with variants were indistinguishable from those in control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS— Our data do not support a major effect of common LPIN1 variation on metabolic traits and suggest that mutations in LPIN1 are not a common cause of lipodystrophy in humans. The nominal associations with BMI and other metabolic traits in U.K. cohorts require replication in larger cohorts.
PMCID: PMC2518506  PMID: 18591397
18.  Lipin-1 Regulates Autophagy Clearance and Intersects with Statin Drug Effects in Skeletal Muscle 
Cell metabolism  2014;20(2):267-279.
LPIN1 encodes lipin-1, a phosphatidic acid phosphatase (PAP) enzyme that catalyzes the dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to form diacylglycerol. Homozygous LPIN1 gene mutations cause severe rhabdomyolysis, and heterozygous LPIN1 missense mutations may promote statin-induced myopathy. We demonstrate that lipin-1–related myopathy in the mouse is associated with a blockade in autophagic flux and accumulation of aberrant mitochondria. Lipin-1 PAP activity is required for maturation of autolysosomes, through its activation of the protein kinase D (PKD)-Vps34 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling cascade. Statin treatment also reduces PKD activation and autophagic flux, which are compounded by diminished mTOR abundance in lipin-1-haploinsufficent and –deficient muscle. Lipin-1 restoration in skeletal muscle prevents myonecrosis and statin toxicity in vivo, and activated protein kinase D rescues autophagic flux and lipid homeostasis in lipin-1–deficient cells. Our findings identify lipin-1 PAP activity as a component of the macroautophagy pathway, and define the basis for lipin-1–related myopathies.
PMCID: PMC4170588  PMID: 24930972
19.  Temporal and Spatial Regulation of the Phosphatidate Phosphatases Lipin 1 and 2*S⃞ 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2008;283(43):29166-29174.
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.
PMCID: PMC2570901  PMID: 18694939
20.  Distinct Roles of the Phosphatidate Phosphatases Lipin 1 and 2 during Adipogenesis and Lipid Droplet Biogenesis in 3T3-L1 Cells* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(48):34502-34513.
Background: Lipins are phosphatidate phosphatases that generate diacylglycerol for lipid synthesis.
Results: Lipin 1 or lipin 2 depletion has distinct effects on differentiating adipocytes. Cells depleted of both lipins after initiation of adipogenesis accumulate triacylglycerol but display lipid droplet fragmentation.
Conclusion: Lipins have a role in lipid droplet biogenesis after initiation of adipogenesis.
Significance: Lipins play multiple roles during adipocyte differentiation.
Lipins are evolutionarily conserved Mg2+-dependent phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes with essential roles in lipid biosynthesis. Mammals express three paralogues: lipins 1, 2, and 3. Loss of lipin 1 in mice inhibits adipogenesis at an early stage of differentiation and results in a lipodystrophic phenotype. The role of lipins at later stages of adipogenesis, when cells initiate the formation of lipid droplets, is less well characterized. We found that depletion of lipin 1, after the initiation of differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells but before the loading of lipid droplets with triacylglycerol, results in a reciprocal increase of lipin 2, but not lipin 3. We generated 3T3-L1 cells where total lipin protein and PAP activity levels are down-regulated by the combined depletion of lipins 1 and 2 at day 4 of differentiation. These cells still accumulated triacylglycerol but displayed a striking fragmentation of lipid droplets without significantly affecting their total volume per cell. This was due to the lack of the PAP activity of lipin 1 in adipocytes after day 4 of differentiation, whereas depletion of lipin 2 led to an increase of lipid droplet volume per cell. We propose that in addition to their roles during early adipogenesis, lipins also have a role in lipid droplet biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3843065  PMID: 24133206
Adipocyte; Lipids; Mouse; Phosphatase; Phosphatidate; Triacylglycerol; Lipin
21.  Hepatic-Specific Lipin-1 Deficiency Exacerbates Experimental Alcohol-Induced Steatohepatitis in Mice 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2013;58(6):10.1002/hep.26589.
Lipin-1 regulates lipid metabolism via its function as an enzyme in the triglyceride synthesis pathway and as a transcriptional co-regulatory protein and is highly up-regulated in alcoholic fatty liver disease. In the present study, using a liver specific lipin-1-deficient (lipin-1LKO) mouse model, we aimed to investigate the functional role of lipin-1 in the development of alcoholic steatohepatitis and explore the underlying mechanisms. Alcoholic liver injury was achieved by pair feeding wild-type (WT) and lipin-1LKO mice with modified Lieber-DeCarli ethanol-containing low fat diets for 4-wks. Surprisingly, chronically ethanol-fed lipin-1LKO mice showed markedly greater hepatic triglyceride and cholesterol accumulation, and augmented elevation of serum liver enzymes accompanied by increased hepatic pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Our studies further revealed that hepatic removal of lipin-1 in mice augmented ethanol-induced impairment of hepatic fatty acid oxidation and lipoprotein production likely via deactivation of PGC-1α, a prominent transcriptional regulator of lipid metabolism. Our findings demonstrate that liver-specific lipin-1 deficiency in mice exacerbates the development and progression of experimental alcohol-induced steatohepatitis. Pharmacological or nutritional modulation of hepatic lipin-1 may be beneficial for the prevention or treatment of human alcoholic fatty liver disease.
PMCID: PMC3835749  PMID: 23787969
Alcoholic liver steatosis; Lipid metabolism; Inflammmation; Lipin-1; Signal transduction
22.  Regulation of Hepatic Lipin-1 by Ethanol: Role of AMPK-SREBP-1 Signaling 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2011;55(2):437-446.
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.
PMCID: PMC3253249  PMID: 21953514
Alcoholic fatty liver; signal transduction; lipid metabolism; acetylation; sumoylation
23.  Intermuscular and intramuscular adipose tissues: Bad vs. good adipose tissues 
Adipocyte  2014;3(4):242-255.
Human studies of the influence of aging and other factors on intermuscular fat (INTMF) were reviewed. Intermuscular fat increased with weight loss, weight gain, or with no weight change with age in humans. An increase in INTMF represents a similar threat to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance as does visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Studies of INTMF in animals covered topics such as quantitative deposition and genetic relationships with other fat depots. The relationship between leanness and higher proportions of INTMF fat in pigs was not observed in human studies and was not corroborated by other pig studies. In humans, changes in muscle mass, strength and quality are associated with INTMF accretion with aging. Gene expression profiling and intrinsic methylation differences in pigs demonstrated that INTMF and VAT are primarily associated with inflammatory and immune processes. It seems that in the pig and humans, INTMF and VAT share a similar pattern of distribution and a similar association of components dictating insulin sensitivity. Studies on intramuscular (IM) adipocyte development in meat animals were reviewed. Gene expression analysis and genetic analysis have identified candidate genes involved in IM adipocyte development. Intramuscular (IM) adipocyte development in human muscle is only seen during aging and some pathological circumstance. Several genetic links between human and meat animal adipogenesis have been identified. In pigs, the Lipin1 and Lipin 2 gene have strong genetic effects on IM accumulation. Lipin1 deficiency results in immature adipocyte development in human lipodystrophy. In humans, overexpression of Perilipin 2 (PLIN2) facilitates intramyocellular lipid accretion whereas in pigs PLIN2 gene expression is associated with IM deposition. Lipins and perilipins may influence intramuscular lipid regardless of species.
PMCID: PMC4550684  PMID: 26317048
adipocytes; adipose depot physiology; intramuscular adipose tissue; intermuscular adipose tissue; genetic markers; regulation; development; metabolism; growth
24.  The Transcriptional Effects of PCB118 and PCB153 on the Liver, Adipose Tissue, Muscle and Colon of Mice: Highlighting of Glut4 and Lipin1 as Main Target Genes for PCB Induced Metabolic Disorders 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0128847.
Epidemiological studies have associated environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes; however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms involved in the metabolic side-effects of PCB. Our study evaluated the transcriptional effects of a subchronic exposure (gavage at Day 0 and Day 15 with 10 or 100 μmol/Kg bw) to PCB118 (dioxin-like PCB), PCB153 (non-dioxin-like PCB), or an equimolar mixture of PCB118 and PCB153 on various tissues (liver, visceral adipose tissue, muscle, and colon) in mice. Our results showed that a short-term exposure to PCB118 and/or PCB153 enhanced circulating triglyceride levels but did not affect glycemia. Among the studied tissues, we did not observe any modification of the expression of inflammation-related genes, such as cytokines or chemokines. The main transcriptional effects were observed in visceral adipose and liver tissues. We found a downregulation of lipin1 and glut4 expression in these two target organs. In adipose tissue, we also showed a downregulation of Agpat2, Slc25a1, and Fasn. All of these genes are involved in lipid metabolism and insulin resistance. In muscles, we observed an induction of CnR1 and Foxo3 expression, which may be partly involved in PCB metabolic effects. In summary, our results suggest that lipin1 and glut4, notably in adipose tissue, are the main targeted genes in PCB-induced metabolic disorders, however, further studies are required to fully elucidate the mechanisms involved.
PMCID: PMC4473719  PMID: 26086818
25.  Lipin-1 gamma isoform is a novel lipid droplet-associated protein highly expressed in the brain 
FEBS letters  2011;585(12):1979-1984.
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.
PMCID: PMC3117272  PMID: 21616074
Lipin; phosphatidic acid phosphatase; lipid droplets; brain

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