Triacylglycerol synthesis in isolated fat cells. Evidence that the sn glycerol 3 phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate acyltransferase activities are dual catalytic functions of a single microsomal enzyme

Academic Article


  • The acyl CoA:sn glycerol 3 phosphate acyltransferase (EC (glycerol P acyltransferase) and acyl CoA:dihydroxyacetone phosphate acyltransferase (EC (DHAP acyltransferase) activities were investigated in vitro in order to evaluate the quantitative contribution of the glycerol P and DHAP pathways for the synthesis of triacylglycerols in isolated fat cells and to test the hypothesis that these two activities may be dual catalytic functions of a single enzyme. More than 85% of both acyltransferase activities was associated with the microsomal subcellular fraction. The microsomal glycerol P acyltransferase activity showed an apparent K(m) of 8 μM for glycerol P with a V(max) of 15.6 nmol/min/mg, while the DHAP acyltransferase activity showed an apparent K(m) of 40 μm for DHAP with a V(max) of 9.7 nmol/min/mg. Glycerol P was a competitive inhibitor (K(i) = 7.2 μM) of the DHAP acyltransferase, and DHAP was a competitive inhibitor (K(i) = 92 μM) of the glycerol P acyltransferase. The two acyltransferase activities showed virtual identity in their pH dependence, acyl CoA chain length dependence, thermolability, and inactivation by N ethylmaleimide. Trypsin, detergents, collagenase, phospholipases, and various salts and organic solvents also had similar effects on both activities. Taken as a whole, the data strongly suggest that the microsomal glycerol P and DHAP acyltransferase activities actually represent dual functions of a single enzyme. Calculations based on the above kinetic constants and previously reported glycerol P and DHAP pools in adipocytes suggest that the in vivo ratio of glycerol P to DHAP acylation should be greater than 24:1.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Schlossman DM; Bell RM
  • Start Page

  • 5738
  • End Page

  • 5744
  • Volume

  • 251
  • Issue

  • 18