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.
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
Triglyceride synthesis in most mammalian tissues involves the sequential addition of fatty acids to a glycerol backbone, with unique enzymes required to catalyze each acylation step. Acylation at the sn-2 position requires 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase (AGPAT) activity. To date, seven Agpat genes have been identified based on activity and/or sequence similarity, but their physiological functions have not been well established. We have generated a mouse model deficient in AGPAT6, which is normally expressed at high levels in brown adipose tissue (BAT), white adipose tissue (WAT), and liver. Agpat6-deficient mice exhibit a 25% reduction in body weight and resistance to both diet-induced and genetically induced obesity. The reduced body weight is associated with increased energy expenditure, reduced triglyceride accumulation in BAT and WAT, reduced white adipocyte size, and lack of adipose tissue in the subdermal region. In addition, the fatty acid composition of triacylglycerol, diacylglycerol, and phospholipid is altered, with proportionally greater polyunsaturated fatty acids at the expense of monounsaturated fatty acids. Thus, Agpat6 plays a unique role in determining triglyceride content and composition in adipose tissue and liver that cannot be compensated by other members of the Agpat family.
acyltransferase; gene-trap; adipose tissue; energy expenditure; 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase
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
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 BayGenomics gene-trap resource (http://baygenomics.ucsf.edu) provides researchers with access to thousands of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines harboring characterized insertional mutations in both known and novel genes. Each cell line contains an insertional mutation in a specific gene. The identity of the gene that has been interrupted can be determined from a DNA sequence tag. Approximately 75% of our cell lines contain insertional mutations in known mouse genes or genes that share strong sequence similarities with genes that have been identified in other organisms. These cell lines readily transmit the mutation to the germline of mice and many mutant lines of mice have already been generated from this resource. BayGenomics provides facile access to our entire database, including sequence tags for each mutant ES cell line, through the World Wide Web. Investigators can browse our resource, search for specific entries, download any portion of our database and BLAST sequences of interest against our entire set of cell line sequence tags. They can then obtain the mutant ES cell line for the purpose of generating knockout mice.
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
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
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), 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.
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.
The genetic basis for ingestive behaviors is virtually unknown. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for carbohydrate and energy intake map to mouse chromosome 17 and were previously confirmed by a congenic strain bearing CAST/Ei (CAST) donor segment on the C57BL/6J (B6) background.
We used microarray technology to facilitate gene identification. Gene expression was compared between the B6.CAST-17 (BC-17) congenic and B6 strains in two diets: 1) chow, and 2) carbohydrate/protein vs. fat/protein.
Within the QTL and unique to macronutrient selection, Agpat1 (acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase 1) was differentially expressed in hypothalamus. Irrespective of diet, the gene with the highest fold difference in congenic mice was trefoil factor 3 (Tff3) in liver. Several genes involved in fat metabolism were decreased in carbohydrate-preferring congenic mice, while genes associated with carbohydrate metabolism were increased. In particular, the glyoxalase pathway was enhanced including Glo1, Glo2, and dLDH. Higher expression of Glo1 mRNA in BC-17 congenic mice corresponded to increased protein expression revealed by Western blot, and to higher GLO1 activity in blood.
These genes represent new candidates for nutrient intake phenotypes. We propose that increased GLO1 in the BC-17 strain supports its need to protect against dietary oxidants resulting from high carbohydrate intake.
Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels arise from existing ones by the budding out of endothelial cell capillaries from the luminal side of blood vessels. Blood vessel formation is essential for organ development during embryogenesis and is associated with several physiological and pathological processes, such as wound healing and tumor development. The VE-statin/egfl7 gene is specifically expressed in endothelial cells during embryonic development and in the adult. We studied here the regulatory mechanisms that control this tissue-specific expression. RT-qPCR analyses showed that the specificity of expression of VE-statin/egfl7 in endothelial cells is not shared with its closest neighbor genes notch1 and agpat2 on the mouse chromosome 2. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation analysis of histone modifications at the VE-statin/egfl7 locus showed that the chromatin is specifically opened in endothelial cells, but not in fibroblasts at the transcription start sites. A 13 kb genomic fragment of promoter was cloned and analyzed by gene reporter assays which showed that two conserved regions are important for the specific expression of VE-statin/egfl7 in endothelial cells; a −8409/−7563 enhancer and the −252/+38 region encompassing the exon-1b transcription start site. The latter contains essential GATA and ETS-binding sites, as assessed by linker-scanning analysis and site-directed mutagenesis. An analysis of expression of the ETS and GATA transcription factors showed that Erg, Fli-1 and GATA-2 are the most highly expressed factors in endothelial cells. Erg and GATA-2 directly control the expression of the endogenous VE-statin/egfl7 while Fli-1 probably exerts an indirect control, as assessed by RNA interference and chromatin immunoprecipitation. This first detailed analysis of the mechanisms that govern the expression of the VE-statin/egfl7 gene in endothelial cells pinpoints the specific importance of ETS and GATA factors in the specific regulation of genes in this cell lineage.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in AGPAT2 and Gng3lg. We screened for mutations in AGPAT2 and Gng3lg in 26 families with CGL and one family with Brunzell syndrome. We found mutations in either AGPAT2 or Gng3lg in all but four probands, including three novel mutations in AGPAT2, A712T (Lys215X), IVS3-1G→C, and C636A (Phe189X). In three siblings with Brunzell syndrome, we identified a splice site mutation (IVS4–2A→G) in AGPAT2, showing that AGPAT2 mutations can also cause Brunzell syndrome. Eighteen CGL patients from 15 families from the same region of northeastern Brazil were homozygous for a frameshift mutation (669insA of AF05149) in Gng3lg. Despite having the same mutation, the subjects had widely divergent clinical manifestations. In our subjects, there did not appear to be any distinguishing clinical characteristics between CGL subjects with AGPAT2 or Gng3lg mutations with the exception of mental retardation in carriers of Gng3lg. In summary, mutations in AGPAT2 and Gng3lg are approximately equally represented in CGL; despite harboring the same Gng3lg mutation, subjects may have widely divergent clinical manifestations, suggesting modifying influences of other genes and/or environment; and Brunzell syndrome may be caused by a mutation in AGPAT2.
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
The Rhodobacter capsulatus genome contains three genes (olsA [plsC138], plsC316, and plsC3498) that are annotated as lysophosphatidic acid (1-acyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphate) acyltransferase (AGPAT). Of these genes, olsA was previously shown to be an O-acyltransferase in the second step of ornithine lipid biosynthesis, which is important for optimal steady-state levels of c-type cytochromes (S. Aygun-Sunar, S. Mandaci, H.-G. Koch, I. V. J. Murray, H. Goldfine, and F. Daldal. Mol. Microbiol. 61:418-435, 2006). The roles of the remaining plsC316 and plsC3498 genes remained unknown. In this work, these genes were cloned, and chromosomal insertion-deletion mutations inactivating them were obtained to define their function. Characterization of these mutants indicated that, unlike the Escherichia coli plsC, neither plsC316 nor plsC3498 was essential in R. capsulatus. In contrast, no plsC316 olsA double mutant could be isolated, indicating that an intact copy of either olsA or plsC316 was required for R. capsulatus growth under the conditions tested. Compared to OlsA null mutants, PlsC316 null mutants contained ornithine lipid and had no c-type cytochrome-related phenotype. However, they exhibited slight growth impairment and highly altered total fatty acid and phospholipid profiles. Heterologous expression in an E. coli plsC(Ts) mutant of either R. capsulatus plsC316 or olsA gene products supported growth at a nonpermissive temperature, exhibited AGPAT activity in vitro, and restored phosphatidic acid biosynthesis. The more vigorous AGPAT activity displayed by PlsC316 suggested that plsC316 encodes the main AGPAT required for glycerophospholipid synthesis in R. capsulatus, while olsA acts as an alternative AGPAT that is specific for ornithine lipid synthesis. This study therefore revealed for the first time that some OlsA enzymes, like the enzyme of R. capsulatus, are bifunctional and involved in both membrane ornithine lipid and glycerophospholipid biosynthesis.
Skin lies at the interface between the complex physiology of the body and the external environment. This essential epidermal barrier, composed of cornified proteins encased in lipids, prevents both water loss and entry of infectious or toxic substances. We uncover that the transcription factor GATA-3 is required to establish the epidermal barrier and survive in the ex utero environment. Analysis of Gata-3 mutant transcriptional profiles at three critical developmental stages identifies a specific defect in lipid biosynthesis and a delay in differentiation. Genomic analysis identifies highly conserved GATA-3 binding sites bound in vivo by GATA-3 in the first intron of the lipid acyltransferase gene AGPAT5. Skin from both Gata-3−/− and previously characterized barrier-deficient Kruppel-like factor 4−/− newborns up-regulate antimicrobial peptides, effectors of innate immunity. Comparison of these animal models illustrates how impairment of the skin barrier by two genetically distinct mechanisms leads to innate immune responses, as observed in the common human skin disorders psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignancy of bone with poorly characterized molecular pathways important in its pathogenesis. Increasing evidence indicates that elevated lipid biosynthesis is a characteristic feature of cancer. We sought to investigate the role of lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase β (LPAATβ, aka, AGPAT2) in regulating the proliferation and growth of human osteosarcoma cells. LPAATβ can generate phosphatidic acid, which plays a key role in lipid biosynthesis as well as in cell proliferation and survival. Although elevated expression of LPAATβ has been reported in several types of human tumors, the role of LPAATβ in osteosarcoma progression has yet to be elucidated.
Endogenous expression of LPAATβ in osteosarcoma cell lines is analyzed by using semi-quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical staining. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of LPAATβ and silencing LPAATβ expression is employed to determine the effect of LPAATβ on osteosarcoma cell proliferation and migration in vitro and osteosarcoma tumor growth in vivo. We have found that expression of LPAATβ is readily detected in 8 of the 10 analyzed human osteosarcoma lines. Exogenous expression of LPAATβ promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation and migration, while silencing LPAATβ expression inhibits these cellular characteristics. We further demonstrate that exogenous expression of LPAATβ effectively promotes tumor growth, while knockdown of LPAATβ expression inhibits tumor growth in an orthotopic xenograft model of human osteosarcoma.
Our results strongly suggest that LPAATβ expression may be associated with the aggressive phenotypes of human osteosarcoma and that LPAATβ may play an important role in regulating osteosarcoma cell proliferation and tumor growth. Thus, targeting LPAATβ may be exploited as a novel therapeutic strategy for the clinical management of osteosarcoma. This is especially attractive given the availability of selective pharmacological inhibitors.
Glucocorticoids play important roles in the regulation of distinct aspects of adipocyte biology. Excess glucocorticoids in adipocytes are associated with metabolic disorders, including central obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. To understand the mechanisms underlying the glucocorticoid action in adipocytes, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing to isolate genome-wide glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding regions (GBRs) in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Furthermore, gene expression analyses were used to identify genes that were regulated by glucocorticoids. Overall, 274 glucocorticoid-regulated genes contain or locate nearby GBR. We found that many GBRs were located in or nearby genes involved in triglyceride (TG) synthesis (Scd-1, 2, 3, GPAT3, GPAT4, Agpat2, Lpin1), lipolysis (Lipe, Mgll), lipid transport (Cd36, Lrp-1, Vldlr, Slc27a2) and storage (S3-12). Gene expression analysis showed that except for Scd-3, the other 13 genes were induced in mouse inguinal fat upon 4-day glucocorticoid treatment. Reporter gene assays showed that except Agpat2, the other 12 glucocorticoid-regulated genes contain at least one GBR that can mediate hormone response. In agreement with the fact that glucocorticoids activated genes in both TG biosynthetic and lipolytic pathways, we confirmed that 4-day glucocorticoid treatment increased TG synthesis and lipolysis concomitantly in inguinal fat. Notably, we found that 9 of these 12 genes were induced in transgenic mice that have constant elevated plasma glucocorticoid levels. These results suggested that a similar mechanism was used to regulate TG homeostasis during chronic glucocorticoid treatment. In summary, our studies have identified molecular components in a glucocorticoid-controlled gene network involved in the regulation of TG homeostasis in adipocytes. Understanding the regulation of this gene network should provide important insight for future therapeutic developments for metabolic diseases.
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.
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
Mutations in the human gene MCPH1 cause primary microcephaly associated with a unique cellular phenotype with premature chromosome condensation (PCC) in early G2 phase and delayed decondensation post-mitosis (PCC syndrome). The gene encodes the BRCT-domain containing protein microcephalin/BRIT1. Apart from its role in the regulation of chromosome condensation, the protein is involved in the cellular response to DNA damage. We report here on the first mouse model of impaired Mcph1-function. The model was established based on an embryonic stem cell line from BayGenomics (RR0608) containing a gene trap in intron 12 of the Mcph1 gene deleting the C-terminal BRCT-domain of the protein. Although residual wild type allele can be detected by quantitative real-time PCR cell cultures generated from mouse tissues bearing the homozygous gene trap mutation display the cellular phenotype of misregulated chromosome condensation that is characteristic for the human disorder, confirming defective Mcph1 function due to the gene trap mutation. While surprisingly the DNA damage response (formation of repair foci, chromosomal breakage, and G2/M checkpoint function after irradiation) appears to be largely normal in cell cultures derived from Mcph1gt/gt mice, the overall survival rates of the Mcph1gt/gt animals are significantly reduced compared to wild type and heterozygous mice. However, we could not detect clear signs of premature malignant disease development due to the perturbed Mcph1 function. Moreover, the animals show no obvious physical phenotype and no reduced fertility. Body and brain size are within the range of wild type controls. Gene expression on RNA and protein level did not reveal any specific pattern of differentially regulated genes. To the best of our knowledge this represents the first mammalian transgenic model displaying a defect in mitotic chromosome condensation and is also the first mouse model for impaired Mcph1-function.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by near total absence of body fat since birth with predisposition to insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia and hepatic steatosis. Three CGL loci, AGPAT2, BSCL2 and CAV1 have been identified previously. Recently, mutations in polymerase I and transcript release factor (PTRF) were reported in five Japanese patients presenting with myopathy and CGL (CGL4). We report on novel PTRF mutations and detailed phenotype of two male and three female patients with CGL4 belonging to two pedigrees of Mexican origin (CGL7100 and CGL178) and one pedigree of Turkish origin (CGL180). All patients had near total loss of body fat and congenital myopathy manifesting as weakness, percussion-induced muscle mounding and high serum creatine kinase levels. Four of them had hypertriglyceridemia. Three of them had atlantoaxial instability. Two patients belonging to CGL178 pedigree required surgery for pyloric stenosis in the first month of life. None of them had prolonged QT interval on electrocardiography but both siblings belonging to CGL7100 had exercise-induced arrhythmias. Three of them had mild acanthosis nigricans but had normal glucose tolerance. Two of them had hepatic steatosis. All patients had novel null mutations in PTRF gene. In conclusion, mutations in PTRF result in a novel phenotype that includes generalized lipodystrophy with mild metabolic derangements, myopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, atlantoaxial instability and pyloric stenosis. It is unclear how mutations in PTRF, which plays an essential role in formation of caveolae, affect a wide variety of tissues resulting in a variable phenotype.
congenital generalized lipodystrophy; myopathy; PTRF; cardiac arrhythmias; pyloric stenosis; atlantoaxial instability; caveolae
Due to its genetic tractability and increasing wealth of accessible data, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model system of choice for the study of the genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology of eukaryotic lipid metabolism. Glycerolipids (e.g., phospholipids and triacylglycerol) and their precursors are synthesized and metabolized by enzymes associated with the cytosol and membranous organelles, including endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and lipid droplets. Genetic and biochemical analyses have revealed that glycerolipids play important roles in cell signaling, membrane trafficking, and anchoring of membrane proteins in addition to membrane structure. The expression of glycerolipid enzymes is controlled by a variety of conditions including growth stage and nutrient availability. Much of this regulation occurs at the transcriptional level and involves the Ino2–Ino4 activation complex and the Opi1 repressor, which interacts with Ino2 to attenuate transcriptional activation of UASINO-containing glycerolipid biosynthetic genes. Cellular levels of phosphatidic acid, precursor to all membrane phospholipids and the storage lipid triacylglycerol, regulates transcription of UASINO-containing genes by tethering Opi1 to the nuclear/endoplasmic reticulum membrane and controlling its translocation into the nucleus, a mechanism largely controlled by inositol availability. The transcriptional activator Zap1 controls the expression of some phospholipid synthesis genes in response to zinc availability. Regulatory mechanisms also include control of catalytic activity of glycerolipid enzymes by water-soluble precursors, products and lipids, and covalent modification of phosphorylation, while in vivo function of some enzymes is governed by their subcellular location. Genome-wide genetic analysis indicates coordinate regulation between glycerolipid metabolism and a broad spectrum of metabolic pathways.