Lipolytic enzymes are required for mobilization of fatty acids from triglyceride stores in adipose tissue. Energy homeostasis is affected by dysfunctional lipolysis and may contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity and insulin resistance. Until recently, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) was the only enzyme known to hydrolyze triglycerides in mammalian adipose tissue. It is now thought that a second enzyme, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), catalyzes the initial step in triglyceride hydrolysis. ATGL is highly expressed in adipose tissue of mice and humans. It exhibits high substrate specificity for triacylglycerol and is associated with lipid droplets. Inhibition of ATGL markedly decreases total adipose acyl-hydrolase activity. Thus, ATGL and HSL coordinately catabolize stored triglycerides in adipose tissue of mammals.
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