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Liver proteomic response to hypertriglyceridemia in human-apolipoprotein C-III transgenic mice at cellular and mitochondrial compartment levels

Grégory Ehx1, Stéphanie Gérin1, Grégory Mathy1, Fabrice Franck1, Helena CF Oliveira2, Anibal E Vercesi3 and Francis E Sluse1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Bioenergetics (B22), Department of Life Sciences, University of Liege, Boulevard du rectorat 27, 4000 Liege, Belgium

2 Departamento de Fisiologia e Biofísica, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, 13083-887 Campinas, SP, Brazil

3 Departamento de Patologia Clínica, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), CEP: 13083-887 Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:116  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-116

Published: 21 July 2014



Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) is defined as a triglyceride (TG) plasma level exceeding 150 mg/dl and is tightly associated with atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and acute pancreatitis. The present study was undertaken to investigate the mitochondrial, sub-mitochondrial and cellular proteomic impact of hypertriglyceridemia in the hepatocytes of hypertriglyceridemic transgenic mice (overexpressing the human apolipoproteinC-III).


Quantitative proteomics (2D-DIGE) analysis was carried out on both “low-expressor” (LE) and “high-expressor” (HE) mice, respectively exhibiting moderate and severe HTG, to characterize the effect of the TG plasma level on the proteomic response.


The mitoproteome analysis has revealed a large-scale phenomenon in transgenic mice, i.e. a general down-regulation of matricial proteins and up-regulation of inner membrane proteins. These data also demonstrate that the magnitude of proteomic changes strongly depends on the TG plasma level. Our different analyses indicate that, in HE mice, the capacity of several metabolic pathways is altered to promote the availability of acetyl-CoA, glycerol-3-phosphate, ATP and NADPH for TG de novo biosynthesis. The up-regulation of several cytosolic ROS detoxifying enzymes has also been observed, suggesting that the cytoplasm of HTG mice is subjected to oxidative stress. Moreover, our results suggest that iron over-accumulation takes place in the cytosol of HE mice hepatocytes and may contribute to enhance oxidative stress and to promote cellular proliferation.


These results indicate that the metabolic response to HTG in human apolipoprotein C-III overexpressing mice may support a high TG production rate and that the cytosol of hepatocytes is subjected to an important oxidative stress, probably as a result of FFA over-accumulation, iron overload and enhanced activity of some ROS-producing catabolic enzymes.