A human skin multifunctional O-acyltransferase that catalyzes the synthesis of acylglycerols, waxes, and retinyl esters

J Lipid Res. 2005 Nov;46(11):2388-97. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M500168-JLR200. Epub 2005 Aug 16.


Acyl-CoA-dependent O-acyltransferases catalyze reactions in which fatty acyl-CoAs are joined to acyl acceptors containing free hydroxyl groups to produce neutral lipids. In this report, we characterize a human multifunctional O-acyltransferase (designated MFAT) that belongs to the acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2/acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT) gene family and is highly expressed in the skin. Membranes of insect cells and homogenates of mammalian cells overexpressing MFAT exhibited significantly increased MGAT, acyl-CoA:fatty acyl alcohol acyltransferase (wax synthase), and acyl-CoA:retinol acyltransferase (ARAT) activities, which catalyze the synthesis of diacylglycerols, wax monoesters, and retinyl esters, respectively. Furthermore, when provided with the appropriate substrates, intact mammalian cells overexpressing MFAT accumulated more waxes and retinyl esters than control cells. We conclude that MFAT is a multifunctional acyltransferase that likely plays an important role in lipid metabolism in human skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / chemistry*
  • Acyltransferases / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • COS Cells
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase / chemistry
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Esters / chemistry*
  • Glycerides / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Insecta
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Phylogeny
  • Retinol O-Fatty-Acyltransferase / chemistry
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Waxes


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Esters
  • Glycerides
  • Lipids
  • Waxes
  • Acyltransferases
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase
  • 2-acylglycerol O-acyltransferase
  • Retinol O-Fatty-Acyltransferase