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J Lipid Res. 2008 Jan;49(1):206-16. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Mammary glands of adipophilin-null mice produce an amino-terminally truncated form of adipophilin that mediates milk lipid droplet formation and secretion.

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Graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Division of Basic Reproductive Science, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO, USA.


Adipophilin (ADPH), a member of the perilipin family of lipid droplet-associated proteins, is hypothesized to mediate milk lipid formation and secretion. Unexpectedly, the fat content of milk from ADPH-null mice was only modestly lower than that of wild-type controls, and neither TIP47 nor perilipin appeared to fully compensate for ADPH loss. This prompted us to investigate the possibility that the mutated ADPH gene was not a genuine null mutation. ADPH transcripts were detected in ADPH-null mammary tissue by quantitative real-time PCR, and C-terminal-specific, but not N-terminal-specific, ADPH antibodies detected a single lower molecular weight product and immunostained cytoplasmic lipid droplets (CLDs) and secreted milk fat globules in ADPH-null mammary tissue. Furthermore, stable cell lines expressing cDNA constructs corresponding to the ADPH-null mutation produced a product comparable in size to the one detected in ADPH-null mammary glands and localized to CLDs. Based on these data, we conclude that ADPH-null mice express an N-terminally truncated form of ADPH that retains the ability to promote the formation and secretion of milk lipids.

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