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Cell Metab. 2012 Jan 4;15(1):122-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Coordination of triacylglycerol and cholesterol homeostasis by DHR96 and the Drosophila LipA homolog magro.

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Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, 15 N 2030 E, Room 2100, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5330 USA.


Although transintestinal cholesterol efflux has been identified as an important means of clearing excess sterols, the mechanisms that underlie this process remain poorly understood. Here, we show that magro, a direct target of the Drosophila DHR96 nuclear receptor, is required in the intestine to maintain cholesterol homeostasis. magro encodes a LipA homolog that is secreted from the anterior gut into the intestinal lumen to digest dietary triacylglycerol. Expression of magro in intestinal cells is required to hydrolyze cholesterol esters and promote cholesterol clearance. Restoring magro expression in the intestine of DHR96 mutants rescues their defects in triacylglycerol and cholesterol metabolism. These studies show that the central role of the intestine in cholesterol efflux has been conserved through evolution, that the ancestral function of LipA is to coordinate triacylglycerol and cholesterol metabolism, and that the region-specific activities of magro correspond to the metabolic functions of its upstream regulator, DHR96.

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