Nov 27, 2019 179 (6) 1276-1288.e14
Vol. 179, Issue 6, Medline Page 1276-1288.e14
GPR146 Deficiency Protects against Hypercholesterolemia and Atherosclerosis.
Although human genetic studies have implicated many susceptible genes associated with plasma lipid levels, their physiological and molecular functions are not fully characterized. Here we demonstrate that orphan G protein-coupled receptor 146 (GPR146) promotes activity of hepatic sterol regulatory element binding protein 2 (SREBP2) through activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway, thereby regulating hepatic very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) secretion, and subsequently circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides (TG) levels. Remarkably, GPR146 deficiency reduces plasma cholesterol levels substantially in both wild-type and LDL receptor (LDLR)-deficient mice. Finally, aortic atherosclerotic lesions are reduced by 90% and 70%, respectively, in male and female LDLR-deficient mice upon GPR146 depletion. Taken together, these findings outline a regulatory role for the GPR146/ERK axis in systemic cholesterol metabolism and suggest that GPR146 inhibition could be an effective strategy to reduce plasma cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis.