In eutherians, the placenta plays a critical role in the uptake, storage, and metabolism of lipids. These processes govern the availability of fatty acids to the developing fetus, where inadequate supply has been associated with substandard fetal growth. Whereas lipid droplets are essential for the storage of neutral lipids in the placenta and many other tissues, the processes that regulate placental lipid droplet lipolysis remain largely unknown. To assess the role of triglyceride lipases and their cofactors in determining placental lipid droplet and lipid accumulation, we assessed the role of patatin like phospholipase domain containing 2 (PNPLA2) and comparative gene identification-58 (CGI58) in lipid droplet dynamics in the human and mouse placenta. While both proteins are expressed in the placenta, the absence of CGI58, not PNPLA2, markedly increased placental lipid and lipid droplet accumulation. These changes were reversed upon restoration of CGI58 levels selectively in the CGI58-deficient mouse placenta. Using co-immunoprecipitation, we found that, in addition to PNPLA2, PNPLA9 interacts with CGI58. PNPLA9 was dispensable for lipolysis in the mouse placenta yet contributed to lipolysis in human placental trophoblasts. Our findings establish a crucial role for CGI58 in placental lipid droplet dynamics and, by extension, in nutrient supply to the developing fetus.
Jennifer Guerrero-Santoro, Mayumi Morizane, Soo-Young Oh, Takuya Mishima, Julie P. Goff, Ibrahim Bildirici, Elena Sadovsky, Yingshi Ouyang, Vladimir A. Tyurin, Yulia Y. Tyurina, Valerian E. Kagan, Yoel Sadovsky