Purdue University Graduate School

The mechanism of triglyceride partitioning - how the ANGPTL3-4-8 system of proteins orchestrates tissue energy distribution.

Download (6.56 MB)
posted on 2020-12-08, 13:29 authored by Thomas George PottanatThomas George Pottanat

The incidence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is increasing worldwide and accompanied by elevated risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other subsequent comorbidities. MetS is associated with increased circulating triglycerides. A key enzyme involved in triglyceride (TG) clearance is lipoprotein lipase (LPL) whose activity is modulated by a variety of factors.

Recent literature has identified the importance of angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTL) as regulators of LPL activity and has hypothesized a model in which three of these proteins interact with LPL to regulate the partitioning of TG metabolism from adipose to skeletal muscle. The work detailed in this dissertation adds to the model of ANGPTL regulation of LPL by establishing how ANGPTL8 modulates the ability of ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 to inhibit LPL activity in the bloodstream and localized environments, respectively.

In the updated model, elevated insulin concentrations result in increased hepatic ANGPTL3/8 secretion and increased ANGPTL4/8 in adipose tissue. ANGPTL3/8 works as an endocrine molecule to inhibit skeletal muscle LPL from hydrolyzing circulating TG. Simultaneously, ANGPTL4/8 works in a paracrine mechanism to bind LPL on the endothelial vasculature adjacent to adipose tissue to alleviate ANGPTL4-mediated LPL inhibition and also prevent ANGPTL3/8 inhibition of localized LPL. Thus, in the postprandial state free fatty acids (FFA) from the hydrolysis of TG are directed into adipocytes for storage.

Under fasting conditions, ANGPTL8 production is decreased in adipocytes and hepatocytes. This decreased production results in diminished ANGPTL4/8 and ANGPTL3/8 secretion from their respective tissues. As a result, ANGPTL4 inhibits adipocyte localized LPL activity while ANGPTL3 at physiological concentrations has minimal effect on LPL activity. Furthermore, any ANGPTL3/8 which is produced has its LPL-inhibitory ability diminished by the circulating apolipoprotein ApoA5. LPL is more active in skeletal muscle compared to adipose tissue where energy is shunted towards utilization in the muscle and away from storage in adipose tissue. A complete understanding of LPL regulation by ANGPTL proteins can potentially provide therapeutics targets for MetS.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Biological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Nicolas Berbari

Additional Committee Member 2

David Skalnik

Additional Committee Member 3

Benjamin Perrin

Additional Committee Member 4

Robert Konrad