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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 12;282(2):996-1002. Epub 2006 Nov 18.

Control of adipose triglyceride lipase action by serine 517 of perilipin A globally regulates protein kinase A-stimulated lipolysis in adipocytes.

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Jean Mayer United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Phosphorylation of the lipid droplet-associated protein perilipin A (Peri A) mediates the actions of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) to stimulate triglyceride hydrolysis (lipolysis) in adipocytes. Studies addressing how Peri A PKA sites regulate adipocyte lipolysis have relied on non-adipocyte cell models, which express neither adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), the rate-limiting enzyme for triglyceride catabolism in mice, nor the "downstream" lipase, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). ATGL and HSL are robustly expressed by adipocytes that we generated from murine embryonic fibroblasts of perilipin knock-out mice. Adenoviral expression of Peri A PKA site mutants in these cells reveals that mutation of serine 517 alone is sufficient to abrogate 95% of PKA (forskolin)-stimulated fatty acid (FA) and glycerol release. Moreover, a "phosphomimetic" (aspartic acid) substitution at serine 517 enhances PKA-stimulated FA release over levels obtained with wild type Peri A. Studies with ATGL-and HSL-directed small hairpin RNAs demonstrate that 1) ATGL activity is required for all PKA-stimulated FA and glycerol release in murine embryonic fibroblast adipocytes and 2) all PKA-stimulated FA release in the absence of HSL activity requires serine 517 phosphorylation. These results provide the first demonstration that Peri A regulates ATGL-dependent lipolysis and identify serine 517 as the Peri A PKA site essential for this regulation. The contributions of other PKA sites to PKA-stimulated lipolysis are manifested only in the presence of phosphorylated or phosphomimetic serine 517. Thus, serine 517 is a novel "master regulator" of PKA-stimulated adipocyte lipolysis.

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