Spatially Resolved Activity-based Proteomic Profiles of the Murine Small Intestinal Lipases

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Dec;19(12):2104-2115. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA120.002171. Epub 2020 Oct 6.


Despite the crucial function of the small intestine in nutrient uptake our understanding of the molecular events underlying the digestive function is still rudimentary. Recent studies demonstrated that enterocytes do not direct the entire dietary triacylglycerol toward immediate chylomicron synthesis. Especially after high-fat challenges, parts of the resynthesized triacylglycerol are packaged into cytosolic lipid droplets for transient storage in the endothelial layer of the small intestine. The reason for this temporary storage of triacylglycerol is not completely understood. To utilize lipids from cytosolic lipid droplets for chylomicron synthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum, stored triacylglycerol has to be hydrolyzed either by cytosolic lipolysis or lipophagy. Interestingly, triacylglycerol storage and chylomicron secretion rates are unevenly distributed along the small intestine, with the proximal jejunum exhibiting the highest intermittent storage capacity. We hypothesize that correlating hydrolytic enzyme activities with the reported distribution of triacylglycerol storage and chylomicron secretion in different sections of the small intestine is a promising strategy to determine key enzymes in triacylglycerol remobilization. We employed a serine hydrolase specific activity-based labeling approach in combination with quantitative proteomics to identify and rank hydrolases based on their relative activity in 11 sections of the small intestine. Moreover, we identified several clusters of enzymes showing similar activity distribution along the small intestine. Merging our activity-based results with substrate specificity and subcellular localization known from previous studies, carboxylesterase 2e and arylacetamide deacetylase emerge as promising candidates for triacylglycerol mobilization from cytosolic lipid droplets in enterocytes.

Keywords: activity based proteomics; label-free quantification; lipid droplet; mass spectrometry; mechanism of action; molecular probes; mouse models; small intestine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / enzymology*
  • Lipase / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Proteomics*


  • Hydrolases
  • Lipase