Phosphorylation of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 13 at serine 33 attenuates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice

Wen Su*, Sijin Wu, Yongliang Yang, Yanlin Guo, Haibo Zhang, Jie Su, Lei Chen, Zhuo Mao, Rongfeng Lan, Rong Cao, Chunjiong Wang, Hu Xu, Cong Zhang, Sha Li, Min Gao, Xiaocong Chen, Zhiyou Zheng, Bing Wang, Yi’ao Liu, Zuojun LiuZimei Wang, Baohua Liu, Xinmin Fan, Xiaoyan Zhang*, Youfei Guan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-13 is a hepatocyte-specific, lipid droplet-associated protein. A common loss-of-function variant of HSD17B13 (rs72613567: TA) protects patients against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with underlying mechanism incompletely understood. In the present study, we identify the serine 33 of 17β-HSD13 as an evolutionally conserved PKA target site and its phosphorylation facilitates lipolysis by promoting its interaction with ATGL on lipid droplets. Targeted mutation of Ser33 to Ala (S33A) decreases ATGL-dependent lipolysis in cultured hepatocytes by reducing CGI-58-mediated ATGL activation. Importantly, a transgenic knock-in mouse strain carrying the HSD17B13 S33A mutation (HSD17B1333A/A) spontaneously develops hepatic steatosis with reduced lipolysis and increased inflammation. Moreover, Hsd17B1333A/A mice are more susceptible to high-fat diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Finally, we find reproterol, a potential 17β-HSD13 modulator and FDA-approved drug, confers a protection against nonalcoholic steatohepatitis via PKA-mediated Ser33 phosphorylation of 17β-HSD13. Therefore, targeting the Ser33 phosphorylation site could represent a potential approach to treat NASH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6577
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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