Purpose of review: The aim of this review is to summarize and discuss recent advances in the understanding of the physiological role of lipoprotein lipase in lipid and energy metabolism.
Recent findings: Studies on the transcriptional and the posttranscriptional level of lipoprotein lipase expression have provided new insights into the complex mechanisms that are involved in the regulation of the enzyme. Additionally a large body of evidence from both human studies and animal models suggests that the level of lipoprotein lipase expression in a given tissue is the rate limiting process for the uptake of triglyceride derived fatty acids. Imbalances in the partitioning of fatty acids among peripheral tissues have major metabolic consequences. For example, in mice both decreased lipoprotein lipase activities in adipose tissue and increased activity in muscle are associated with resistance to obesity; lack of lipoprotein lipase activity in macrophages is correlated with a decreased susceptibility to develop atherosclerotic lesions and overexpression of the enzyme in muscle is associated with increased blood glucose levels and insulin resistance.
Summary: Considering the central role of lipoprotein lipase in energy metabolism it is a reasonable goal to discover and develop new drugs that affect the tissue specific expression pattern of the enzyme.