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Gene. 2008 Jun 15;416(1-2):30-43. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2008.02.026. Epub 2008 Mar 12.

Cloning and functional characterization of the ovine Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) full-length cDNAs: an integrated approach.

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Department of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 118 55 Athens, Greece.


Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) is a highly regulated enzyme that mediates lipolysis in adipocytes. HSL enzymatic activity is increased by adrenergic agonists, such as catecholamines and glucagons, which induce cyclic AMP (cAMP) intracellular production, subsequently followed by the activation of Protein Kinase A (PKA) and its downstream signalling cascade reactions. Since HSL constitutes the key enzyme in the regulation of lipid stores and the only enzyme being subjected to hormonal regulation [in terms of the recently identified Adipose Triglyceride Lipase (ATGL)], the ovine Hormone Sensitive Lipase (ovHSL) full-length cDNA clones were isolated, using a Polymerase Chain Reaction-based (PCR) strategy. The two isolated isoforms ovHSL-A and ovHSL-B contain two highly homologous Open Reading Frame (ORF) regions of 2.089 Kb and 2.086 Kb, respectively, the latter having been missed the 688th triplet coding for glutamine (DeltaQ(688)). The putative 695 and 694 amino acid respective sequences bear strong homologies with other HSL protein family members. Southern blotting analysis revealed that HSL is represented as a single copy gene in the ovine genome, while Reverse Transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) approaches unambiguously dictated its variable transcriptional expression profile in the different tissues examined. Interestingly, as undoubtedly corroborated by both RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis, ovHSL gene expression is notably enhanced in the adipose tissue during the fasting period, when lipolysis is highly increased in ruminant species. Based on the crystal structure of an Archaeoglobus fulgidus enzyme, a three-dimensional (3D) molecular model of the ovHSL putative catalytic domain was constructed, thus providing an inchoative insight into understanding the enzymatic activity and functional regulation mechanisms of the ruminant HSL gene product(s).

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