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Cellular triglycerides (TG) are stored in cytosolic lipid droplets (LDs). Perilipins (PLIN) are a group of LD-proteins that play important roles in the assembly and transport of LDs and in TG metabolism. Two members of the PLIN family are found in insects (PLIN1 & 2 or Lsd1 & 2). We have cloned and expressed Manduca sexta PLIN2 (MsPLIN2), and studied developmental and nutritional changes in the expression of PLIN2. Nutritional changes induced fast alterations in PLIN2 mRNA and protein levels in fat body and midgut of the feeding larvae. The relationship observed between PLIN2 expression and TG synthesis in both larval fat body and midgut suggests that PLIN2 is needed when tissues are accumulating TG. However, when the fat body was storing TG at maximal capacity, MsPLIN2 levels declined. This unexpected finding suggests the occurrence of alternative mechanism/s to shield TG from the action of lipases in M. sexta LDs. In addition, it implies that the cellular level of lipid storage could be modulating MsPLIN2 expression and/or degradation. The study also confirmed that MsPLIN2 was most abundant in the adult fat body, which is characterized by a high rate of TG hydrolysis and lipid mobilization. Whether MsPLIN2 is directly involved in lipolysis and/or the secretion of lipids in the fat body of adult of M. sexta is unknown at this time. Nonetheless, the coexistence of high PLIN2 and lipolysis levels suggests a complex role for MsPLIN2. Altogether, we found that MsPLIN2 is needed when the synthesis of glycerides, DG and TG, is active even if the insect is accumulating or consuming TG. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Xiao Chen, Sarah J Firdaus, Alisha D Howard, Jose L Soulages, Estela L Arrese. Clues on the function of Manduca sexta perilipin 2 inferred from developmental and nutrition-dependent changes in its expression. Insect biochemistry and molecular biology. 2017 Feb;81:19-31

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PMID: 27939924

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