The Role of Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase (DGAT) 1 and 2 in Cardiac Metabolism and Function

Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 21;8(1):4983. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23223-7.


It is increasingly recognized that synthesis and turnover of cardiac triglyceride (TG) play a pivotal role in the regulation of lipid metabolism and function of the heart. The last step in TG synthesis is catalyzed by diacylglycerol:acyltransferase (DGAT) which esterifies the diacylglycerol with a fatty acid. Mammalian heart has two DGAT isoforms, DGAT1 and DGAT2, yet their roles in cardiac metabolism and function remain poorly defined. Here, we show that inactivation of DGAT1 or DGAT2 in adult mouse heart results in a moderate suppression of TG synthesis and turnover. Partial inhibition of DGAT activity increases cardiac fatty acid oxidation without affecting PPARα signaling, myocardial energetics or contractile function. Moreover, coinhibition of DGAT1/2 in the heart abrogates TG turnover and protects the heart against high fat diet-induced lipid accumulation with no adverse effects on basal or dobutamine-stimulated cardiac function. Thus, the two DGAT isoforms in the heart have partially redundant function, and pharmacological inhibition of one DGAT isoform is well tolerated in adult hearts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies / pathology*
  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase / genetics
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Echocardiography
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Myocardium / enzymology*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • PPAR alpha / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / biosynthesis*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Fatty Acids
  • PPAR alpha
  • Ppara protein, mouse
  • Triglycerides
  • DGAT2 protein, mouse
  • Dgat1 protein, mouse
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase