Acyl-CoA:1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT)-2 is one of the two DGAT enzymes that catalyzes the synthesis of triacylglycerol, which is an important form of stored energy for eukaryotic organisms. There is currently limited information available regarding how DGAT2 and triacylglycerol synthesis are regulated. Recent studies have indicated that DGAT2 can be regulated by changes in gene expression. How DGAT2 is regulated post-transcriptionally remains less clear. In this study, we demonstrated that DGAT2 is a very unstable protein and is rapidly degraded in an ubiquitin-dependent manner via the proteasome. Many of the 25 lysines present in DGAT2 appeared to be involved in promoting its degradation. However, the six C-terminal lysines were the most important in regulating stability. We also demonstrated that acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT)-2, an enzyme with extensive sequence homology to DGAT2 that catalyzes the synthesis of diacylglycerol, was also ubiquitinated. However, MGAT2 was found to be much more stable than DGAT2. Interestingly, when co-expressed, MGAT2 appeared to stabilize DGAT2. Finally, we found that both DGAT2 and MGAT2 are substrates of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation pathway.

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