Lipin 1 is a bifunctional intracellular protein that regulates fatty acid metabolism in the nucleus via interactions with DNA-bound transcription factors and at the endoplasmic reticulum as a phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase enzyme (PAP-1) to catalyze the penultimate step in triglyceride synthesis. However, livers of 8-day-old mice lacking lipin 1 (fld mice) exhibited normal PAP-1 activity and a 20-fold increase in triglyceride levels. We sought to further analyze the hepatic lipid profile of these mice by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Surprisingly, hepatic content of phosphatidate, the substrate of PAP-1 enzymes, was markedly diminished in fld mice. Similarly, other phospholipids derived from phosphatidate, phosphatidylglycerol and cardiolipin, were also depleted. Another member of the lipin family (lipin 2) is enriched in liver, and hepatic lipin 2 protein content was markedly increased by lipin 1 deficiency, food deprivation, and obesity, often independent of changes in steady-state mRNA levels. Importantly, RNAi against lipin 2 markedly reduced PAP-1 activity in hepatocytes from both wild type and fld mice and suppressed triglyceride synthesis under conditions of high fatty acid availability. Collectively, these data suggest that lipin 2 plays an important role as a hepatic PAP-1 enzyme.