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Presentation date

Summer 8-12-2021

College, Institute, or Department

Internal Medicine

Research Mentor

Dr. Kusum Kharbanda


Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT) is an enzyme that catalyzes the successive transfer of 3 methyl groups from S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to generate phosphatidylcholine (PC). PC is vital for exporting fat out of the liver, ultimately preventing hepatic steatosis. Alcohol also induces steatosis partly through damaging this pathway, so the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol and PEMT in the liver. PEMT -/- (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to a chronic + binge alcohol treatment, and both serum and liver samples were analyzed. Triglyceride quantification, SAM and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) levels, and histological analyses were performed on liver samples, while ALT levels were determined from serum samples. Our study showed that ethanol-fed PEMT KO mice exhibited worse liver injury compared to other treatment groups. Our results show increased triglyceride levels, increased ALT levels, decreased SAM:SAH ratio, and increased liver to body weight ratio. From these findings, we conclude that additional liver damage is observed with the combination of alcohol feeding and absence of the PEMT enzyme. The mechanism by which these two factors affect one another is a key area of future study.


Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), Phosphatidylcholine (PC), Hepatic Steatosis

Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT) Knockout Mice Exhibit Worse Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury than Wildtype Mice