Background: Dietary fat absorption involves the re-esterification of digested triacylglycerol in the enterocytes, it is a biological process catalyzed by monoacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 2 (MOGAT2, aka MGAT2), which is highly expressed in the small intestine. A previous study showed that the loss of the Mogat2 gene can prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer including postmenopausal breast cancer.
Methods: We collected 147 patients with triple negative breast adenocarcinoma to explore the relationship between the expression of MOGAT2 and patient overall survival. And we generated a Mogat2-deficient mouse mammary tumor model by crossing Mogat2-deficient mice with MMTV-PyMT mice to examine the effect of losing MOGAT2 in vivo.
Results: Our founding suggest that obesity was induced by a relatively high-fat diet (37% of calories from fat) in the mice with or without Mogat2 knockout. Mammary tumor development was deteriorated by a relatively high-fat diet regardless of Mogat2 deficiency. As a compensation mechanism, upregulation of diacylglycerol O-acyltransferases 1 and 2 (Dgat1 and Dgat2) in the Mogat2 deficient mice was found.
Conclusions: Elevated expression of MOGAT2 in triple negative breast adenocarcinoma predicts poorer patient overall survival. With the compensation of Dgat1 and Dgat2, Mogat2 deficiency alone cannot prevent fat diet-induced obesity, nor prevent mammary tumor development in a mouse model.