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The Acyl CoenzymeA:Monoacylglycerol Acyltransferase 3 (MGAT3) Gene Is A Pseudogene In Mice But Encodes A Functional Enzyme In Rats

Y. G. Yue, Y. Q. Chen, Y. Zhang, H. Wang, Y. Qian, Jeffrey S. Arnold, J. Calley, S. Li, W. Perry, H. Zhang, R. Konrad, G. Cao
Published 2011 · Biology, Medicine

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Triglyceride (TAG) absorption involves its initial hydrolysis to fatty acids and monoacylglycerol (MAG), which are resynthesized back to diacylglycerol (DAG) and TAG within enterocytes. The resynthesis of DAG is facilitated by fatty acyl-CoA dependent monoacylglycerol acyltransferases (MGATs). Three MGAT enzymes have been isolated in humans and the expression of MGAT2 and MGAT3 in the intestines suggests their functional role in the TAG absorption. In this paper, we report that the Mogat3 gene appears to be a pseudogene in mice while it is a functional gene in rats. Examination of the mouse genomic Mogat3 sequence revealed multiple changes that would result in a translational stop codon or frameshifts. The rat Mogat3 gene, however, is predicted to encode a functional enzyme of 362 amino acids. Expression of rat MGAT3 in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells led to the formation of a 36-kDa protein that displayed significant MGAT but not DGAT activity. Tissue expression analysis of rat MGAT3 by real-time PCR analysis indicated that rat MGAT3 has a high level of expression in intestines and pancreas. Our results thus provide the molecular basis to understand the relative functional role of MGAT2 and MGAT3 and also for future exploration of MGAT3 function in animal models.
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