Inactivation of Tm6sf2, a gene defective in fatty liver disease, impairs lipidation but not secretion of very low density lipoproteins

Eriks Smagris, Shenise Gilyard, Soumik BasuRay, Jonathan C. Cohen, Helen H. Hobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

A missense mutation (E167K) in TM6SF2 (transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2), a polytopic protein of unknown function, is associated with the full spectrum of fatty liver disease. To investigate the role of TM6SF2 in hepatic triglyceride (TG) metabolism, we inactivated the gene in mice. Chronic inactivation of Tm6sf2 in mice is associated with hepatic steatosis, hypocholesterolemia, and transaminitis, thus recapitulating the phenotype observed in humans. No dietary challenge was required to elicit the phenotype. Immunocytochemical and cell fractionation studies revealed thatTM6SF2was present in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex, whereas the excess neutral lipids in the Tm6sf2-/- mice were located in lipid droplets. Plasma VLDL-TG levels were reduced in the KO animals due to a 3-fold decrease in VLDL-TG secretion rate without any associated reduction in hepatic apoB secretion. Both VLDL particle size and plasma cholesterol levels were significantly reduced in KOmice. Despite levels of TM6SF2 protein being 10-fold higher in the small intestine than in the liver, dietary lipid absorption was only modestly reduced in the KO mice. Our data, taken together, reveal that TM6SF2 is required to mobilize neutral lipids for VLDL assembly but is not required for secretion of apoB-containing lipoproteins. DespiteTM6SF2being located in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex, the lipids that accumulate in its absence reside in lipid droplets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10659-10676
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume291
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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