Mutations in 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2) cause congenital generalized lipodystrophy. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolic complications associated with AGPAT2 deficiency, Agpat2 null mice were generated. Agpat2−/− mice develop severe lipodystrophy affecting both white and brown adipose tissue, severe insulin resistance, diabetes, and hepatic steatosis. The expression of lipogenic genes and rates of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis were increased ~4-fold in Agpat2−/− mouse livers. The mRNA and protein levels of monoacylglycerol acyltransferase isoform 1 were markedly increased in the livers of Agpat2−/− mice suggesting that the alternative monoacylglycerol pathway for triglyceride biosynthesis is activated in the absence of AGPAT2. Feeding a fat-free diet reduced liver triglycerides by ~50% in Agpat2−/− mice. These observations suggest that both dietary fat and hepatic triglyceride biosynthesis via a novel monoacylglycerol pathway may contribute to hepatic steatosis in Agpat2−/− mice.
AGPAT; LPAAT; MGAT; phosphatidic acid phosphatases; acyltransferase; phospholipids; lipodystrophy; hepatic steatosis
Elucidation of the metabolic pathways of triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis is critical to the understanding of chronic metabolic disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. sn-Glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) and sn-1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT) catalyze the first and second steps in de novo TAG synthesis. AGPAT6 is one of eight AGPAT isoforms identified through sequence homology, but the enzyme activity for AGPAT6 has not been confirmed. We found that in liver and brown adipose tissue from Agpat6-deficient (Agpat6−/−) mice, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM)-sensitive GPAT specific activity was 65% lower than in tissues from wild-type mice, but AGPAT specific activity was similar. Overexpression of Agpat6 in Cos-7 cells increased an NEM-sensitive GPAT specific activity, but AGPAT specific activity was not increased. Agpat6 and Gpat1 overexpression in Cos-7 cells increased the incorporation of [14C]oleate into diacylglycerol (DAG) or into DAG and TAG, respectively, suggesting that the lysophosphatidic acid, phosphatidic acid, and DAG intermediates initiated by each of these isoforms lie in different cellular pools. Together, these data show that “Agpat6−/− mice” are actually deficient in a novel NEM-sensitive GPAT, GPAT4, and indicate that the alterations in lipid metabolism in adipose tissue, liver, and mammary epithelium of these mice are attributable to the absence of GPAT4
triacylglycerol; phospholipid; lipodystrophy; acyl-coenzyme A; steatosis; sn-l-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase-deficient mice
Loss-of-function mutations in AGPAT2, encoding 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2), produce congenital generalised lipodystrophy (CGL). We screened the AGPAT2 gene in two siblings who presented with pseudoacromegaly, diabetes and severe dyslipidaemia and identified a novel mutation in AGPAT2 causing a single amino acid substitution, p.Cys48Arg. We subsequently investigated the molecular pathogenic mechanism linking both this mutation and the previously reported p.Leu228Pro mutation to clinical disease. Wild-type and mutant AGPAT2 were expressed in control and AGPAT2-deficient preadipocyte cell lines. mRNA and protein expression was determined, and the ability of each AGPAT2 species to rescue adipocyte differentiation in AGPAT2-deficient cells was assessed. Protein levels of both p.Cys48Arg and p.Leu228Pro AGPAT2 were significantly reduced compared with that of wild-type AGPAT2 despite equivalent mRNA levels. Stable expression of wild-type AGPAT2 partially rescued adipogenesis in AGPAT2 deficient preadipocytes, whereas stable expression of p.Cys48Arg or p.Leu228Pro AGPAT2 did not. In conclusion, unusually severe dyslipidaemia and pseudoacromegaloid overgrowth in patients with diabetes should alert physicians to the possibility of lipodystrophy. Both the previously unreported pathogenic p.Cys48Arg mutation in AGPAT2, and the known p.Leu228Pro mutation result in decreased AGPAT2 protein expression in developing adipocytes. It is most likely that the CGL seen in homozygous carriers of these mutations is largely accounted for by loss of protein expression.
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
Integral membrane lysophospholipid acyltransferases (AT) are involved in many reactions that produce phospholipids and triglycerides. Enzymes that utilize lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) as an acceptor substrate have been termed LPAATs, and several are members of the 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase (AGPAT) gene family. Amino acid sequence comparisons with other acyltransferases reveal that AGPATs contain four conserved motifs (I–IV), whose invariant residues appear to be important for catalysis and/or substrate recognition. Although the enzymatic activities of many AGPATs are known, for many members their structural organization within membranes and their exact biological functions are unclear. Recently, a new function for AGPATs was discovered when it was determined that human AGPAT3/LPAAT3 is involved in the structure and function of the Golgi complex. Here we have determined the topological orientation of human AGPAT3/LPAAT3. AGPAT3/LPAAT3 possesses two transmembrane domains, one of which separates motifs I and II, which are thought to form a functional unit that is critical for enzymatic activity. This is a surprising result but similar to a recent study on the topology of human LPAAT 1. The data is consistent with a structural arrangement in which motif I is located in the cytoplasm and motif II is in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi lumen, suggesting a different model for AGPAT3/LPAAT3’s enzymatic mechanism.
Golgi complex; 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase; AGPAT3; lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase; LPAAT3; membrane topology
AGPAT isoforms catalyze the acylation of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) to form phosphatidic acid (PA). AGPAT2 mutations are associated with defective adipogenesis. Muscle and adipose tissue share common precursor cells. We investigated the role of AGPAT isoforms in skeletal muscle development. We demonstrate that small interference RNA-mediated knockdown of AGPAT1 expression prevents the induction of myogenin, a key transcriptional activator of the myogenic program, and inhibits the expression of myosin heavy chain. This effect is rescued by transfection with AGPAT1 but not AGPAT2. Knockdown of AGPAT2 has no effect. The regulation of myogenesis by AGPAT1 is associated with alterations on actin cytoskeleton. The role of AGPAT1 on actin cytoskeleton is further supported by colocalization of AGPAT1 to areas of active actin polymerization. AGPAT1 overexpression was not associated with an increase in PA levels. Our observations strongly implicate AGPAT1 in the development of skeletal muscle, specifically to terminal differentiation. These findings are linked to the regulation of actin cytoskeleton.
Cytoskeleton; Phosphatidic acid; AGPAT2; C2C12; Skeletal muscle; Actin
In analyzing the sequence tags for mutant mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines in BayGenomics (a mouse gene-trapping resource), we identified a novel gene, Agpat6, with sequence similarities to previously characterized glycerolipid acyltransferases. Agpat6’s closest family member is another novel gene that we have provisionally designated Agpat8. Both Agpat6 and Agpat8 are conserved from plants, nematodes, and flies to mammals. AGPAT6, which is predicted to contain multiple membrane-spanning helices, is found exclusively within the endoplasmic reticulum in mammalian cells. To gain insights into the in vivo importance of Agpat6, we used the Agpat6 ES cell line from BayGenomics to create Agpat6-deficient (Agpat6−/−) mice. Agpat6−/− mice lacked full-length Agpat6 transcripts, as judged by northern blots. One of the most striking phenotypes of Agpat6−/− mice was a defect in lactation. Pups nursed by Agpat6−/− mothers die perinatally. Normally, Agpat6 is expressed at high levels in the mammary epithelium of breast tissue, but not in the surrounding adipose tissue. Histological studies revealed that the aveoli and ducts of Agpat6−/− lactating mammary glands were underdeveloped, and there was a dramatic decrease in size and number of lipid droplets within mammary epithelial cells and ducts. Also, the milk from Agpat6−/− mice was markedly depleted in diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols. Thus, we identified a novel glycerolipid acyltransferase of the endoplasmic reticulum, AGPAT6, which is crucial for the production of milk fat by the mammary gland.
LPAAT; acyltransferase; transacylase; milk fat
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a rare auto-somal recessive disorder characterized by extreme paucity of adipose tissue from birth, and early onset of metabolic complications related to insulin resistance. Mutations in three genes, 1-acylglycerol 3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2), Berardinelli Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy 2 (BSCL2), and Caveolin-1 (CAV1) are associated with the three subtypes of this disorder, CGL1, CGL2 and CGL3, respectively. We report two siblings of Hispanic origin who displayed characteristic features of CGL such as generalized loss of subcutaneous fat from birth, acanthosis nigricans, acromegaloid habitus, umbilical prominence, hepatosplenomegaly, hypoleptinemia, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. However, no disease causing variants were detected in the DNA sequence of AGPAT2, BSCL2 or CAV1 genes. Further, whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the two siblings revealed marked loss of subcutaneous, intraabdominal and intrathoracic fat like in other patients with CGL, but preservation of bone marrow fat which is invariably lost in all patients with CGL1 and CGL2, but not in the patient reported with CGL3. They also had generalized muscle weakness during infancy and early childhood associated with a nearly fivefold increase in serum creatine kinase (CK) levels, but with normal muscle biopsy and electrophysiologic studies. Both patients were also found to have atlantoaxial dislocation requiring surgical intervention. Thus, this pedigree represents a novel subtype of CGL characterized by generalized loss of body fat but with preservation of bone marrow fat, congenital muscular weakness and cervical spine instability. The genetic basis of this novel subtype remains to be determined.
congenital generalized lipodystrophy; adipose tissue; insulin resistance; congenital myopathy; cervical spine instability
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by the generalized scant of adipose tissue. CGL type 1 is caused by mutations in gene encoding 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase-2 (AGPAT2). A clinical and molecular genetic investigation was performed in affected and unaffected members of two families with CGL type 1. The AGPAT2 coding region was sequenced in index cases of the two families. The presence of the identified mutations in relevant parents was tested. We identified a novel nonsense mutation (c.685G>T, p.Glu229*) and a missense substitution (c.514G>A, p.Glu172Lys). The unaffected parents in both families were heterozygous carrier of the relevant mutation. The results expand genotype–phenotype spectrum in CGL1 and will have applications in prenatal and early diagnosis of the disease. This is the first report of Persian families identified with AGPAT2 mutations.
► First diagnosis of congenital generalized lipodystrophy type 1 in Persian population. ► Molecular analysis identified a novel nonsense mutation and a missense substitution in the AGPAT2. ► The patients did not have diabetes mellitus or hyperinsulinemia. ► The mutations found are candidates for CGL screening. ► The results expand the knowledge about the genotype–phenotype correlations in CGL.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy; CGL; Berardinelli-Seip syndrome; AGPAT2
The adipocytes synthesize and store triglycerides as lipid droplets surrounded by various proteins and phospholipids at its surface. Recently, the molecular basis of some of the genetic syndromes of lipodystrophies has been elucidated and some of these genetic loci have been found to contribute to lipid droplet formation in adipocytes. The two main types of genetic lipodystrophies are congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) and familial partial lipodystrophy (FPL). So far, three CGL loci: 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2), Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy 2 (BSCL2) and caveolin 1 (CAV1) and four FPL loci: lamin A/C (LMNA), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARG), v-AKT murine thymoma oncogene homolog 2 (AKT2) and zinc metalloprotease (ZMPSTE24), have been identified. AGPAT2 plays a critical role in the synthesis of glycerophospholipids and triglycerides required for lipid droplet formation. Another protein, seipin (encoded by BSCL2 gene), has been found to induce lipid droplet fusion. CAV1 is an integral component of caveolae and might contribute towards lipid droplet formation. PPARγ and AKT2 play important role in adipogenesis and lipid synthesis. In this review, we discuss and speculate about the contribution of various lipodystrophy genes and their products in the lipid droplet formation.
Lipodystrophy; AGPAT2; BSCL2; CAV1; LMNA; PPARG; AKT2; ZMPSTE24; Lipid droplet; Acyltransferases
Recent studies have identified the white adipose tissue (WAT) as an important endocrine organ that regulates energy and glucose metabolism via a number of secreted factors. Mice lacking acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), a key enzyme in mammalian triglyceride synthesis, are protected against diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance because of increased energy expenditure and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Because DGAT1 is highly expressed in WAT, we hypothesized that DGAT1 deficiency affects the expression of adipocyte-derived factors that regulate energy and glucose metabolism. Here we show that the transplantation of DGAT1-deficient WAT decreases adiposity and enhances glucose disposal in wild-type mice. Analysis of DGAT1-deficient WAT revealed a twofold increase in the expression of adiponectin, a molecule that enhances fatty acid oxidation and insulin sensitivity, and this increase may account in part for the transplantation-induced metabolic changes. Our results highlight the importance of the endocrine function of WAT and suggest that an alteration in this function contributes to the increased energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity in DGAT1-deficient mice.
Brown and white adipose tissues (BAT and WAT) play critical roles in controlling energy homeostasis and in the development of obesity and diabetes. The mouse Fat-Specific protein 27 (FSP27), a member of the cell death-inducing DFF45-like effector (CIDE) family, is expressed in both BAT and WAT and is associated with lipid droplets. Over-expression of FSP27 promotes lipid storage, whereas FSP27 deficient mice have improved insulin sensitivity and are resistant to diet-induced obesity. In addition, FSP27-deficient white adipocytes have reduced lipid storage, smaller lipid droplets, increased mitochondrial activity and a higher expression of several BAT-selective genes. To elucidate the molecular mechanism by which FSP27 controls lipid storage and gene expression in WAT and BAT, we systematically analyzed the gene expression profile of FSP27-deficient WAT by microarray analysis and compared the expression levels of a specific set of genes in WAT and BAT by semi-quantitative real-time PCR analysis.
BAT-selective genes were significantly up-regulated, whereas WAT-selective genes were down-regulated in the WAT of FSP27-deficient mice. The expression of the BAT-selective genes was also dramatically up-regulated in the WAT of leptin/FSP27 double deficient mice. In addition, the expression levels of genes involved in multiple metabolic pathways, including oxidative phosphorylation, the TCA cycle, fatty acid synthesis and fatty acid oxidation, were increased in the FSP27-deficient WAT. In contrast, the expression levels for genes involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, the classic complement pathway and TGF-β signaling were down-regulated in the FSP27-deficient WAT. Most importantly, the expression levels of regulatory factors that determine BAT identity, such as CEBPα/β, PRDM16 and major components of the cAMP pathway, were markedly up-regulated in the WAT of FSP27-deficient mice. The expression levels of these regulatory factors were also up-regulated in leptin/FSP27 double deficient mice. Interestingly, distinct gene expression profiles were observed in the BAT of FSP27-deficient mice. Taken together, these data suggest that the WAT of FSP27-deficient mice have a gene expression profile similar to that of BAT.
FSP27 acts as a molecular determinant that controls gene expression for a diversity of metabolic and signaling pathways and, in particular, the expression of regulatory factors, including CEBPα/β, PRDM16 and components of the cAMP signaling pathway, that control the identity of WAT and BAT.
Promoting brown adipose tissue (BAT) formation and function may reduce obesity. Recent data link retinoids to energy balance, but a specific role for retinoid metabolism in white versus brown fat is unknown. Retinaldehyde dehydrogenases (Aldhs), also known as aldehyde dehydrogenases, are rate-limiting enzymes that convert retinaldehyde (Rald) to retinoic acid. Here we show that Aldh1a1 is expressed predominately in white adipose tissue (WAT), including visceral depots in mice and humans. Deficiency of the Aldh1a1 gene induced a BAT-like transcriptional program in WAT that drove uncoupled respiration and adaptive thermogenesis. WAT-selective Aldh1a1 knockdown conferred this BAT program in obese mice, limiting weight gain and improving glucose homeostasis. Rald induced uncoupling protein-1 (Ucp1) mRNA and protein levels in white adipocytes by selectively activating the retinoic acid receptor (RAR), recruiting the coactivator PGC-1α and inducing Ucp1 promoter activity. These data establish Aldh1a1 and its substrate Rald as previously unrecognized determinants of adipocyte plasticity and adaptive thermogenesis, which may have potential therapeutic implications.
White adipose tissue (WAT) stores energy in the form of triglycerides, whereas brown tissue (BAT) expends energy, primarily by oxidizing lipids. WAT also secretes many cytokines and acute-phase proteins that contribute to insulin resistance in obese subjects. In this study, we have investigated the mechanisms by which activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) with synthetic agonists induces a brown phenotype in white adipocytes in vivo and in vitro. We demonstrate that this phenotypic conversion is characterized by repression of a set of white fat genes (“visceral white”), including the resistin, angiotensinogen, and chemerin genes, in addition to induction of brown-specific genes, such as Ucp-1. Importantly, the level of expression of the “visceral white” genes is high in mesenteric and gonadal WAT depots but low in the subcutaneous WAT depot and in BAT. Mutation of critical amino acids within helix 7 of the ligand-binding domain of PPARγ prevents inhibition of visceral white gene expression by the synthetic agonists and therefore shows a direct role for PPARγ in the repression process. Inhibition of the white adipocyte genes also depends on the expression of C/EBPα and the corepressors, carboxy-terminal binding proteins 1 and 2 (CtBP1/2). The data further show that repression of resistin and angiotensinogen expression involves recruitment of CtBP1/2, directed by C/EBPα, to the minimal promoter of the corresponding genes in response to the PPARγ ligand. Developing strategies to enhance the brown phenotype in white adipocytes while reducing secretion of stress-related cytokines from visceral WAT is a means to combat obesity-associated disorders.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL), secondary to AGPAT2 mutation is characterized by the absence of adipocytes and development of severe insulin resistance. In the current study, we investigated the adipogenic defect associated with AGPAT2 mutations. Adipogenesis was studied in muscle-derived multipotent cells (MDMCs) isolated from vastus lateralis biopsies obtained from controls and subjects harboring AGPAT2 mutations and in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes after knockdown or overexpression of AGPAT2. We demonstrate an adipogenic defect using MDMCs from control and CGL human subjects with mutated AGPAT2. This defect was rescued in CGL MDMCs with a retrovirus expressing AGPAT2. Both CGL-derived MDMCs and 3T3-L1 cells with knockdown of AGPAT2 demonstrated an increase in cell death after induction of adipogenesis. Lack of AGPAT2 activity reduces Akt activation, and overexpression of constitutively active Akt can partially restore lipogenesis. AGPAT2 modulated the levels of phosphatidic acid, lysophosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol species, as well as the peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ (PPARγ) inhibitor cyclic phosphatidic acid. The PPARγ agonist pioglitazone partially rescued the adipogenic defect in CGL cells. We conclude that AGPAT2 regulates adipogenesis through the modulation of the lipome, altering normal activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and PPARγ pathways in the early stages of adipogenesis.
Purpose of review
Human fat consists of white and brown adipose tissue (WAT and BAT). Though most fat is energy-storing WAT, the thermogenic capacity of even small amounts of BAT makes it an attractive therapeutic target for inducing weight loss through energy expenditure. This review evaluates the recent discoveries regarding the identification of functional BAT in adult humans and its potential as a therapy for obesity and diabetes.
Over the past year, several independent research teams used a combination of positron-emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging, immunohistochemistry, and gene and protein expression assays to prove conclusively that adult humans have functional BAT. This has occurred against a backdrop of basic studies defining the origins of BAT, new components of its transcriptional regulation, and the role of hormones in stimulation of BAT growth and differentiation.
Adult humans have functional BAT, a new target for antiobesity and antidiabetes therapies focusing on increasing energy expenditure. Future studies will refine the methodologies used to measure BAT mass and activity, expand our knowledge of critical-control points in BAT regulation, and focus on testing pharmacological agents that increase BAT thermogenesis and help achieve long-lasting weight loss and an improved metabolic profile.
adult humans; antiobesity therapy; brown adipose tissue; clinical and basic science research; PET/CT
Although interleukin (IL)-7 is mostly known as a key regulator of lymphocyte homeostasis, we recently demonstrated that it also contributes to body weight regulation through a hypothalamic control. Previous studies have shown that IL-7 is produced by the human obese white adipose tissue (WAT) yet its potential role on WAT development and function in obesity remains unknown. Here, we first show that transgenic mice overexpressing IL-7 have reduced adipose tissue mass associated with glucose and insulin resistance. Moreover, in the high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity model, a single administration of IL-7 to C57BL/6 mice is sufficient to prevent HFD-induced WAT mass increase and glucose intolerance. This metabolic protective effect is accompanied by a significant decreased inflammation in WAT. In lymphocyte-deficient HFD-fed SCID mice, IL-7 injection still protects from WAT mass gain. However, IL-7-triggered resistance against WAT inflammation and glucose intolerance is lost in SCID mice. These results suggest that IL-7 regulates adipose tissue mass through a lymphocyte-independent mechanism while its protective role on glucose homeostasis would be relayed by immune cells that participate to WAT inflammation. Our observations establish a key role for IL-7 in the complex mechanisms by which immune mediators modulate metabolic functions.
Background: Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) results from mutations in AGPAT2, encoding 1-acyl-glycerol-3-phosphate-acyltransferase 2 (CGL1; MIM 608594), BSCL2, encoding seipin (CGL2; MIM 269700), CAV1, encoding caveolin1 (CGL3; MIM 612526) or PTRF, encoding polymerase I and transcript release factor (CGL4; MIM 613327). This study aims to investigate the genotype/phenotype relationship and search for a possible pathogenic mechanism in a patient with CGL.
Design: Case report.
Patients and Setting: A 7-day-old child of consanguineous Turkish parents presented with a generalized loss of subcutaneous fat. He had a strikingly enlarged liver, high serum triglycerides, and hyperglycaemia, suggestive for CGL.
Results: A novel homozygous mutation in the acceptor splice site of exon 5 of the BSCL2 gene was found in the genome of the proband. This mutation causes a complex RNA splicing defect and results in two different aberrant seipin proteins, which were normally expressed and localized to the endoplasmic reticulum like wild type protein. Analysis of the patient’s urine showed intermittent elevations of citric acid intermediates and persistently high concentrations of ethylmalonic acid, suggestive of a disturbance of the mitochondrial respiratory chain.
Conclusion: Here we report abnormal urinary organic acid levels, indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction, in a patient with CGL resulting from a novel mutation in BSCL2. Our findings suggest for the first time an association between CGL and secondary mitochondrial dysfunction.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/8904_2011) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) also known as Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy (BSCL) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by loss of adipose tissues, Acanthosis nigricans, diabetes mellitus, muscular hypertrophy, hepatomegaly and hypertriglyceridemia. There are four subclinical phenotypes of CGL (CGL1-4) and mutations in four genes AGPAT2, BSCL2, CAV1 and PTRF have been assigned to each type.
The study included clinical and molecular investigations of CGL disease in a consanguineous Pakistani family. For mutation screening all the coding exons including splice junctions of AGPAT2, BSCL2, CAV1 and PTRF genes were PCR amplified and sequenced directly using an automated DNA sequencer ABI3730.
Sequence analysis revealed a single base pair deletion mutation (c.636delC; p.Tyr213ThrfsX20) in exon 5 of BSCL2 gene causing a frame shift and premature termination codon.
Mutation identified here in BSCL2 gene causing congenital generalized lipodystrophy is the first report in Pakistani population. The patients exhibited characteristic features of generalized lipodystrophy, Acanthosis nigricans, diabetes mellitus and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1913913076864247.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy; BSCL2; Deletion mutation; Pakistani population
Growing evidences indicate that proteases are implicated in adipogenesis and in the onset of obesity. We previously reported that the cysteine protease cathepsin K (ctsk) is overexpressed in the white adipose tissue (WAT) of obese individuals. We herein characterized the WAT and the metabolic phenotype of ctsk deficient animals (ctsk−/−). When the growth rate of ctsk−/− was compared to that of the wild type animals (WT), we could establish a time window (5–8 weeks of age) within which ctsk−/−display significantly lower body weight and WAT size as compared to WT. Such a difference was not observable in older mice. Upon treatment with high fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks ctsk−/− gained significantly less weight than WT and showed reduced brown adipose tissue, liver mass and a lower percentage of body fat. Plasma triglycerides, cholesterol and leptin were significantly lower in HFD-fed-ctsk−/− as compared to HFD-fed WT animals. Adipocyte lipolysis rates were increased in both young and HFD-fed-ctsk−/−, as compared to WT. Carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 activity, was higher in mitochondria isolated from the WAT of HFD treated ctsk−/− as compared to WT. Together, these data indicate that ctsk ablation in mice results in reduced body fat content under conditions requiring a rapid accumulation of fat stores. This observation could be partly explained by an increased release and/or utilization of FFA and by an augmented ratio of lipolysis/lipogenesis. These results also demonstrate that under a HFD, ctsk deficiency confers a partial resistance to the development of dyslipidemia.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) can disperse stored energy as heat. Promoting BAT-like features in white adipose (WAT) is an attractive, if elusive therapeutic approach to staunch the current obesity epidemic. Here we report that gain-of-function of the NAD-dependent deacetylase SirT1 or loss-of-function of its endogenous inhibitor Deleted in breast cancer-1 (Dbc1) promote “browning” of WAT by deacetylating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (Ppar)-γ on Lys268 and Lys293. SirT1-dependent deacetylation of Lys268 and Lys293 is required to recruit the BAT program coactivator Prdm16 to Pparγ, leading to selective induction of BAT genes and repression of visceral WAT genes associated with insulin resistance. An acetylation-defective Pparγ mutant induces a brown phenotype in white adipocytes, while an acetylated mimetic fails to induce “brown” genes, but retains the ability to activate “white” genes. We propose that SirT1-dependent Pparγ deacetylation is a form of selective Pparγ modulation of potential therapeutic import.
Leptin regulates body weight in mice by decreasing appetite and increasing sympathetic nerve activity (SNA), which increases energy expenditure in interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT). Diet-induced obese mice (DIO) are resistant to the anorectic actions of leptin. We evaluated whether leptin still stimulated sympathetic outflow in DIO mice. We measured iBAT temperature as a marker of SNA. We found that obese hyperleptinemic mice have higher iBAT temperature than mice on regular diet. Conversely, obese leptin-deficient ob/ob mice have lower iBAT temperature. Additionally, leptin increased SNA in obese (DIO and ob/ob) and control mice, despite DIO mice being resistant to anorectic action of leptin. We demonstrated that neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) of DIO mice mediate the thermogenic responses to hyperleptinemia in obese mammals because blockade of leptin receptors in the DMH prevented the thermogenic effects of leptin.
Peripheral Melotan II (MTII) injection increased iBAT temperature, but it was blunted by blockade of DMH melanocortin receptors (MC4Rs) by injecting agouti-related peptide (AgRP) directly into the DMH, suggesting a physiological role of the DMH on temperature regulation in animals with normal body weight. Nevertheless, obese mice without a functional melanocortin system (MC4R KO mice) have an increased sympathetic outflow to iBAT compared with their littermates, suggesting that higher leptin levels drive sympathoexcitation to iBAT by a melanocortin-independent pathway.
Because the sympathetic nervous system contributes in regulating blood pressure, heart rate, and hepatic glucose production, selective leptin resistance may be a crucial mechanism linking adiposity and metabolic syndrome.
Mammal adipose tissues require mitochondrial activity for proper development and differentiation. The components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain/oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS) are encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. The maintenance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a key element for a functional mitochondrial oxidative activity in mammalian cells. To ascertain the role of mtDNA levels in adipose tissue, we have analyzed the alterations in white (WAT) and brown (BAT) adipose tissues in thymidine kinase 2 (Tk2) H126N knockin mice, a model of TK2 deficiency-induced mtDNA depletion. We observed respectively severe and moderate mtDNA depletion in TK2-deficient BAT and WAT, showing both tissues moderate hypotrophy and reduced fat accumulation. Electron microscopy revealed altered mitochondrial morphology in brown but not in white adipocytes from TK2-deficient mice. Although significant reduction in mtDNA-encoded transcripts was observed both in WAT and BAT, protein levels from distinct OXPHOS complexes were significantly reduced only in TK2-deficient BAT. Accordingly, the activity of cytochrome c oxidase was significantly lowered only in BAT from TK2-deficient mice. The analysis of transcripts encoding up to fourteen components of specific adipose tissue functions revealed that, in both TK2-deficient WAT and BAT, there was a consistent reduction of thermogenesis related gene expression and a severe reduction in leptin mRNA. Reduced levels of resistin mRNA were found in BAT from TK2-deficient mice. Analysis of serum indicated a dramatic reduction in circulating levels of leptin and resistin. In summary, our present study establishes that mtDNA depletion leads to a moderate impairment in mitochondrial respiratory function, especially in BAT, causes substantial alterations in WAT and BAT development, and has a profound impact in the endocrine properties of adipose tissues.
De novo glycerolipid synthesis begins with the acylation of glycerol-3 phosphate catalyzed by glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT). In mammals, at least four GPAT isoforms have been described, differing in their cell and tissue locations and sensitivity to sulfhydryl reagents. In this work we show that mitochondrial GPAT2 overexpression in CHO-K1 cells increased TAG content and both GPAT and AGPAT activities 2-fold with arachidonoyl-CoA as a substrate, indicating specificity for this fatty acid.
Methods and Results
Incubation of GPAT2-transfected CHO-K1 cells with [1-14C]arachidonate for 3 h increased incorporation of [14C]arachidonate into TAG by 40%. Consistently, arachidonic acid was present in the TAG fraction of cells that overexpressed GPAT2, but not in control cells, corroborating GPAT2's role in synthesizing TAG that is rich in arachidonic acid. In rat and mouse testis, Gpat2 mRNA was expressed only in primary spermatocytes; the protein was also detected in late stages of spermatogenesis. During rat sexual maturation, both the testicular TAG content and the arachidonic acid content in the TAG fraction peaked at 30 d, matching the highest expression of Gpat2 mRNA and protein.
These results strongly suggest that GPAT2 expression is linked to arachidonoyl-CoA incorporation into TAG in spermatogenic germ cells.
Although mast cell functions classically relate to allergic responses1–3, recent studies indicate that these cells contribute to other common diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm, and cancer4–8. This study presents evidence that mast cells contribute importantly to diet-induced obesity and diabetes. White adipose tissues (WAT) from obese humans and mice contain more mast cells than WAT from their lean counterparts. Genetically determined mast cell deficiency and pharmacological stabilization of mast cells in mice reduce body weight gain and levels of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and proteases in serum and WAT, in concert with improved glucose homeostasis and energy expenditure. Mechanistic studies reveal that mast cells contribute to WAT and muscle angiogenesis and associated cell apoptosis and cathepsin activity. Adoptive transfer of cytokine-deficient mast cells established that these cells contribute to mice adipose tissue cysteine protease cathepsin expression, apoptosis, and angiogenesis, thereby promoting diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance by production of IL6 and IFN-γ. Mast cell stabilizing agents in clinical use reduced obesity and diabetes in mice, suggesting the potential of developing novel therapies for these common human metabolic disorders.