Identification and characterization of a major liver lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase

Yang Zhao, Yan Qun Chen, Tabetha M. Bonacci, David S. Bredt, Shuyu Li, William R. Bensch, David E. Moller, Mark Kowala, Robert J. Konrad, Guoqing Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is synthesized through the Kennedy pathway, but more than 50% of PC is remodeled through the Lands cycle, i.e. the deacylation and reacylation of PC to attain the final and proper fatty acids within PC. The reacylation step is catalyzed by lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase (LPCAT), and we report here the identification of a novel LPCAT, which we named LPCAT3. LPCAT3 belongs to the membrane-bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) family and encodes a protein of 487 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 56 kDa. Membranes from HEK293 cells overexpressing LPCAT3 showed significantly increased LPCAT activity as assessed by thin layer chromatography analysis with substrate preference toward unsaturated fatty acids. LPCAT3 is localized within the endoplasmic reticulum and is primarily expressed in metabolic tissues including liver, adipose, and pancreas. In a human hepatoma Huh7 cells, RNA interference-mediated knockdown of LPCAT3 resulted in virtually complete loss of membrane LPCAT activity, suggesting that LPCAT3 is primarily responsible for hepatic LPCAT activity. Furthermore, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α agonists dose-dependently regulated LPCAT3 in liver in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α-dependent fashion, implicating a role of LPCAT3 in lipid homeostasis. Our studies identify a long-sought enzyme that plays a critical role in PC remodeling in metabolic tissues and provide an invaluable tool for future investigations on how PC remodeling may potentially impact glucose and lipid homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8258-8265
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


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