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ATGL has a key role in lipid droplet/adiposome degradation in mammalian cells.

Smirnova E., Goldberg E.B., Makarova K.S., Lin L., Brown W.J., Jackson C.L.

Lipid droplets (LDs), also called adiposomes, are found in many eukaryotic cells, and are highly upregulated in lipid-storage cells, such as adipocytes. The mechanism by which adiposomes and their component neutral lipids are degraded is an important health issue with the rapidly spreading epidemic of obesity. Recently, a novel triglyceride lipase (adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL)) that catalyses the initial step in triglyceride hydrolysis in adipocyte LDs was identified. Here, we show that ATGL also functions in non-adipocyte cells, and has an important role in LD degradation in these cells. Overexpression of wild-type ATGL causes a marked decrease in LD size, whereas a catalytically inactive mutant retains the ability to localize to LDs, but is unable to decrease their size. Depletion of ATGL by RNA interference leads to a significant increase in the size of LDs. These results show that ATGL has an important role in LD/adiposome turnover in mammalian cells.

EMBO Rep. 7:106-113(2006) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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