Functional characterization of human 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase isoform 8: Cloning, tissue distribution, gene structure, and enzymatic activity

Anil K. Agarwal, Robert I. Barnes, Abhimanyu Garg

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Glycerophospholipids and triglycerides are synthesized de novo by cells through an evolutionary conserved process involving serial acylations of phosphorylated glycerol. Various isoforms of the enzyme, 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT), acylate lysophosphatidic acid at the sn-2 position to produce phosphatidic acid. We cloned a cDNA predicted to be AGPAT isoform and designated it AGPAT8. Human and mouse AGPAT8 proteins are 89% homologous, and their gene structure is also highly conserved. AGPAT8 is most closely related to AGPAT5, and its cDNA is expressed most in the heart, while AGPAT5 is expressed more in the prostate and testis. In cell lysates, AGPAT8 shows moderate acyltransferase activity with [3H]oleoyl-CoA but lacks acyl-CoA:lysocardiolipin acyltransferase activity. In whole cells upon incubation with [14C]linoleic acid, most of the radioactivity was recovered in phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidic acid fraction. Of the two well conserved acyltransferase motifs, NHX4D is present in AGPAT8, whereas arginine in the EGTR motif is substituted by aspartate. However, mutation of EGTD to EGTR did not increase enzymatic activity significantly. Based on the X-ray crystallographic structure of a related acyltransferase, squash gpat, a model is proposed in which a hydrophobic pocket in AGPAT8 accommodates fatty acyl chains of both substrates in an orientation where the NHX4D motif participates in catalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 15 2006



  • Acyltransferase
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Phospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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