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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Jul;14(5):214-21.

Congenital generalized lipodystrophy: significance of triglyceride biosynthetic pathways.

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Division of Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by marked lack of body fat since birth, which results in striking muscular appearance. Patients develop extreme insulin resistance and its complications, such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and fatty liver. Mutations in the BSCL2 (which encodes seipin, a protein of unknown function) and AGPAT2 (which encodes 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase 2) genes have been reported in patients with CGL. AGPAT2 is a key enzyme involved in triglyceride and phospholipid biosynthesis and, thus, the discovery of AGPAT2 mutations has heightened interest in the biochemical pathways of triglyceride synthesis and their implications in human physiology and in the pathophysiology of obesity, lipodystrophies and other adipose tissue disorders. All enzymes involved in triglyceride synthesis, including AGPAT, have several known isoforms encoded by different genes. Assuming different substrate specificities of these enzymes, the human body might have many forms of triglycerides and phospholipids. Here, we discuss the significance of these in energy storage, in addition to the normal functioning of cell membranes.

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