DGKζ deficiency protects against peripheral insulin resistance and improves energy metabolism

J Lipid Res. 2017 Dec;58(12):2324-2333. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M079723. Epub 2017 Oct 24.


Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) regulate the balance between diacylglycerol (DAG) and phosphatidic acid. DGKζ is highly abundant in skeletal muscle and induces fiber hypertrophy. We hypothesized that DGKζ influences functional and metabolic adaptations in skeletal muscle and whole-body fuel utilization. DAG content was increased in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, but unaltered in liver of DGKζ KO mice. Linear growth, body weight, fat mass, and lean mass were reduced in DGKζ KO versus wild-type mice. Conversely, male DGKζ KO and wild-type mice displayed a similar robust increase in plantaris weight after functional overload, suggesting that DGKζ is dispensable for muscle hypertrophy. Although glucose tolerance was similar, insulin levels were reduced in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed DGKζ KO versus wild-type mice. Submaximal insulin-stimulated glucose transport and p-Akt Ser473 were increased, suggesting enhanced skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. Energy homeostasis was altered in DGKζ KO mice, as evidenced by an elevated respiratory exchange ratio, independent of altered physical activity or food intake. In conclusion, DGKζ deficiency increases tissue DAG content and leads to modest growth retardation, reduced adiposity, and protection against insulin resistance. DGKζ plays a role in the control of growth and metabolic processes, further highlighting specialized functions of DGK isoforms in type 2 diabetes pathophysiology.

Keywords: diabetes; diacylglycerol kinase ζ; diacyl­glycerol; diet; dietary lipids; lipid kinases; muscle; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / deficiency
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / genetics*
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Diglycerides / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology


  • 1,2-diacylglycerol
  • Diglycerides
  • Insulin
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase
  • diacylglycerol kinase zeta, mouse
  • Glucose