Background: PQBP1 is a causative gene for X-linked mental retardation (MR) whose patients frequently show lean body. C. elegans has a strictly conserved homologue gene of PQBP1, T21D12.3. Methodology and Principal Findings: We generated Venus-transgenic and T21D12.3-mutant nematodes to analyze developmental expression patterns and in vivo functions of the nematode PQBP1 homologue protein (pqbp-1.1). During development, pqbp-1.1 is expressed from cell proliferation stage to larva stage. In larva, intestinal cells show the highest expression of pqbp-1.1, while it decreases in adult worms. The mutants of pqbp-1.1 show a decrease of the lipid content in intestinal cells. Especially, incorporation of fatty acid into triglyceride is impaired. ShRNA-mediated repression of PQBP1 also leads to reduction of lipid content in mammalian primary white adipocytes. Conclusion/Significance: These results suggest that pqbp-1.1 is involved in lipid metabolism of intestinal cells. Dysfunction of lipid metabolism might underlie lean body, one of the most frequent symptoms associating with PQBP1-linked MR patients.
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