Diacylglycerides, the precursors to triacylglycerides and phospholipids, are derived from membrane phosphatidic acids (PA) through the phosphate ester hydrolysis reaction catalyzed by three isoforms of the enzyme lipin. The proposed program will focus on human lipin1, the predominant isoform in the liver, the center of lipid metabolism and in adipose tissue, the center for triacylglyceride synthesis. Lipin1, a key player in lipid homeostasis and membrane biogenesis, is essential to human health. Lipin1 mutations are linked to metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes as well as acute, recurrent breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers and susceptibility to statin-induced myopathy (suffered by 2 million people in the United States). Lipin1 functions on two levels: when translocated to the ER membrane lipin1 catalyzes PA hydrolysis and when translocated to the nucleus it acts as a transcriptional co-activator to up-regulate lipid-metabolizing enzymes. Lipin1 cellular location depends on its phosphorylation state, which is mediated by the protein phosphatase, dullard. Lipin1 membrane binding and protein-partner binding as well as lipin1 phosphorylation/ dephosphorylation are central to the regulation of its two functions.
Three aims will provide a structural and mechanisti basis for understanding the complexities of human lipin1 regulation and function:
Aim 1 : Determine the mechanism of lipin1-membrane binding, PA recognition and catalytic turnover. Lipin binding to PA-containing phospholipid vesicles and steady-state kinetic constant determination of hydrolysis of soluble, short-chain PA and vesicle-bound long-chain PA will be determined. Wild-type lipin1 and domain constructs will be subjected to X-ray crystallographic and solution small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) structure determination.
Aim 2 : Delineate the structural determinants of substrate recognition and catalysis in dullard-mediated lipin1 dephosphorylation. The steady-state kinetic analysis of dullard-catalyzed dephosphorylation of phospholipin1 and lipin1-derived phosphopeptides will define substrate specificity. X-ray structure determination of dullard-substrate/transition state analog complexes will identify possible substrate-binding and catalytic residues which will be further evaluated through kinetic analysis of site-directed mutants.
Aim 3. Identify the protein-protein interactions responsible fo lipin1-mediated transcriptional activation. Lipin1 complexes formed with the transcription factor PPAR? and transcriptional co-activator PGC-1? will be analyzed using sizing-gel chromatographic and equilibrium/velocity sedimentation techniques to define subunit stoichiometry. Protein-protein interactions will be examined by Kd determinations of complexes of binding partners having modified binding motifs. Where appropriate, X-ray crystallographic, solution SAXS and protein deuterium-hydrogen exchange studies will define complex structures.

Public Health Relevance

By defining the structural features of enzymes that allow recognition of specific proteins and cell membrane components, the proposed interdisciplinary effort will provide significant insight into the complexities of cell lipid metabolism. The finding will lay the foundation for the rational design of therapeutic agents to treat the diseases associated with diabetes and clinically identified defects in fat metabolism.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Macromolecular Structure and Function E Study Section (MSFE)
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Gerratana, Barbara
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Boston University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Allen, Karen N; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra (2016) Catalytic scaffolds for phosphoryl group transfer. Curr Opin Struct Biol 41:172-179
Pandya, Chetanya; Farelli, Jeremiah D; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra et al. (2014) Enzyme promiscuity: engine of evolutionary innovation. J Biol Chem 289:30229-36