Identification and functional characterization of protein kinase A phosphorylation sites in the major lipolytic protein, adipose triglyceride lipase

Joanne Pagnon, Maria Matzaris, Romana Stark, Ruth CR Meex, S Lance Macaulay, Paul E O'Brien, Tony Tiganis, Matthew J Watt, Wendy Ann Brown

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66 Citations (Scopus)


Catecholamine-stimulated lipolysis occurs by activating adenylate cyclase and raising cAMP levels, thereby increasing protein kinase A (PKA) activity. This results in phosphorylation and modulated activity of several key lipolytic proteins. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is the primary lipase for the initial step in triacylglycerol hydrolysis, and ATGL activity is increased during stimulated lipolysis. Here, we demonstrate that murine ATGL is phosphorylated by PKA at several serine residues in vitro and identify Ser(406) as a functionally important site. ATGL null adipocytes expressing ATGL S406A (nonphosphorylatable) had reduced stimulated lipolysis. Studies in mice demonstrated increased ATGL Ser(406) phosphorylation during fasting and moderate intensity exercise, conditions associated with elevated lipolytic rates. ATGL Ser(404) (corresponding to murine Ser(406)) phosphorylation was increased by beta-adrenergic stimulation but not 5 AMP-activated protein kinase activation in human subcutaneous adipose tissue explants, which correlated with lipolysis rates. Our studies suggest that beta-adrenergic activation can result in PKA-mediated phosphorylation of ATGL Ser(406), to moderately increase ATGL-mediated lipolysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4278 - 4289
Number of pages12
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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