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J Lipid Res. 2010 Nov;51(11):3306-15. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M010256. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

CGI-58 knockdown in mice causes hepatic steatosis but prevents diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology Section on Lipid Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Mutations of Comparative Gene Identification-58 (CGI-58) in humans cause triglyceride (TG) accumulation in multiple tissues. Mice genetically lacking CGI-58 die shortly after birth due to a skin barrier defect. To study the role of CGI-58 in integrated lipid and energy metabolism, we utilized antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to inhibit CGI-58 expression in adult mice. Treatment with two distinct CGI-58-targeting ASOs resulted in ∼80-95% knockdown of CGI-58 protein expression in both liver and white adipose tissue. In chow-fed mice, ASO-mediated depletion of CGI-58 did not alter weight gain, plasma TG, or plasma glucose, yet raised hepatic TG levels ∼4-fold. When challenged with a high-fat diet (HFD), CGI-58 ASO-treated mice were protected against diet-induced obesity, but their hepatic contents of TG, diacylglycerols, and ceramides were all elevated, and intriguingly, their hepatic phosphatidylglycerol content was increased by 10-fold. These hepatic lipid alterations were associated with significant decreases in hepatic TG hydrolase activity, hepatic lipoprotein-TG secretion, and plasma concentrations of ketones, nonesterified fatty acids, and insulin. Additionally, HFD-fed CGI-58 ASO-treated mice were more glucose tolerant and insulin sensitive. Collectively, this work demonstrates that CGI-58 plays a critical role in limiting hepatic steatosis and maintaining hepatic glycerophospholipid homeostasis and has unmasked an unexpected role for CGI-58 in promoting HFD-induced obesity and insulin resistance.

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