IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.52586/4920
Open Access Original Research
Diet-induced differential effects on plasma lipids secretion by the inositol-requiring transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease 1α
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1 King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC)-Eastern Region, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), King Abdulaziz Hospital (KAH), Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs (MNG-HA), 31982 Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Cell Biology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA
*Correspondence: (Jahangir Iqbal)
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(5), 11–21;
Submitted: 28 September 2020 | Accepted: 25 February 2021 | Published: 30 April 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Intestinal and hepatic lipid metabolism plays an essential role in regulating plasma lipid levels. These lipids are mobilized on apolipoprotein B (apoB)-containing lipoproteins and their plasma homeostasis is maintained by balancing production and catabolism. Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) which is expressed mainly in the intestine and liver plays an essential role in regulating the assembly and secretion of apoB-lipoproteins. Any imbalance in the production or clearance of lipoproteins leads to hyperlipidemia which is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Here, we identify a new role of inositol-requiring transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease 1α (IRE1α) in the regulation of plasma lipids. We generated intestine specific IRE1α knockout mice to study whether intestinal IRE1α regulates plasma lipids by modulating intestinal lipid absorption. Intestine specific deletion of Ire1a gene in mice fed chow diet, significantly reduced plasma cholesterol and triglycerides by 29% and 43% in Ire1a-/- mice (P < 0.01 & P < 0.001, respectively). These changes were not associated with any alteration of MTP activity nor its mRNA expression. On the other hand, Western diet increased plasma triglyceride by 37% (P < 0.01) without affecting total plasma cholesterol in Ire1a-/- mice. Interestingly, this effect was associated with a significant increase in the intestinal MTP activity and its mRNA expression (25%, P < 0.01 and 70%, P < 0.05, respectively). Collectively, our findings reveal key role of intestinal IRE1α in the regulation of plasma lipids that may provide a therapeutic target for disorders of lipid metabolism.

Endoplasmic reticulum
Unfolded protein response
Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein
Inositol-requiring transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease 1α
Inositol-requiring transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease 1 β
Fig. 1.
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