Specific regulation of thermosensitive lipid droplet fusion by a nuclear hormone receptor pathway [Genetics]
Nuclear receptors play important roles in regulating fat metabolism and energy production in humans. The regulatory functions and endogenous ligands of many nuclear receptors are still unidentified, however. Here, we report that CYP-37A1 (ortholog of human cytochrome P450 CYP4V2), EMB-8 (ortholog of human P450 oxidoreductase POR), and DAF-12 (homolog of human nuclear receptors VDR/LXR) constitute a hormone synthesis and nuclear receptor pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans. This pathway specifically regulates the thermosensitive fusion of fat-storing lipid droplets. CYP-37A1, together with EMB-8, synthesizes a lipophilic hormone not identical to Δ7-dafachronic acid, which represses the fusion-promoting function of DAF-12. CYP-37A1 also negatively regulates thermotolerance and lifespan at high temperature in a DAF-12–dependent manner. Human CYP4V2 can substitute for CYP-37A1 in C. elegans. This finding suggests the existence of a conserved CYP4V2-POR–nuclear receptor pathway that functions in converting multilocular lipid droplets to unilocular ones in human cells; misregulation of this pathway may lead to pathogenic fat storage.
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