Aquaporins and glycerol metabolism

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Aug;1758(8):1004-11. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2006.01.008. Epub 2006 Jan 31.


The discovery of aquaporin (AQP) has made a great impact on life sciences. AQPs are a family of homologous water channels widely distributed in plants, unicellular organisms, invertebrates, and vertebrates. So far, 13 AQPs have been identified in human. AQP3, 7, 9, and 10 are subcategorized as aquaglyceroporins which permeabilize glycerol as well as water. Many investigators have demonstrated that AQPs play a crucial role in maintaining water homeostasis, but the physiological significance of some AQPs as a glycerol channel is not fully understood. Adipose tissue is a major source of glycerol and glycerol is one of substrates for gluconeogenesis. This review focuses on recent studies of glycerol metabolism through aquaglyceroporins, and briefly discusses the importance of glycerol channel in adipose tissues and liver.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Aquaporins / genetics
  • Aquaporins / metabolism
  • Aquaporins / physiology*
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glycerol / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipogenesis
  • Lipolysis
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation
  • Organ Specificity


  • AQP7 protein, human
  • AQP9 protein, human
  • Aquaporins
  • Glycerol