PNPLA3 Expression Is Related to Liver Steatosis in Morbidly Obese Women with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Apr 27; 17(5)IJ
Recent reports suggest a role for the Patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) in the pathology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Lipid deposition in the liver seems to be a critical process in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the association between the liver PNPLA3 expression, key genes of lipid metabolism, and the presence of NAFLD in morbidly obese women. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis to analyze the hepatic expression of PNPLA3 and lipid metabolism-related genes in 55 morbidly obese subjects with normal liver histology (NL, n = 18), simple steatosis (SS, n = 20), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, n = 17). Liver biopsies were collected during bariatric surgery. We observed that liver PNPLA3 expression was increased in NAFLD than in NL. It was also upregulated in SS than in NL. Interestingly, we found that the expression of PNPLA3 was significantly higher in severe than mild SS group. In addition, the expression of the transcription factors LXRα, PPARα, and SREBP2 was positively correlated with PNPLA3 liver expression. Regarding rs738409 polymorphism, GG genotype was positive correlated with the presence of NASH. In conclusion, our results show that PNPLA3 could be related to lipid accumulation in liver, mainly in the development and progression of simple steatosis.