Regulation of adipocyte gene expression by polyunsaturated fatty acids

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A wide number of adipocyte genes are regulated by exogenous polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) through the actions of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor. Such genes include the adipocyte lipid-binding protein (ALBP or aP2) which plays a central role in facilitating the trafficking of fatty acids within adipocytes. Work from a number of laboratories has suggested the key elements of the lipid signal transduction pathway include: (1) the transport of exogenous PUFAs across the plasma membrane, (2) metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids to second messengers including 15-deoxy Δ12,14 prostaglandin J2 (15dPGJ2), (3) trafficking of 15dPGJ2 and other second messengers from the smooth ER to the nucleus for association with peroxisome proliferator activated receptorγ (PPARγ), and (4) dimerization of PPARγ with retinoid X receptor (RXR) permitting regulation of transcription via association with any of several nuclear co-activators or repressors. In addition to the aP2 gene being a target of activation by fatty acids, at the protein level ALBP/aP2 plays a role in trafficking of fatty acids and/or their metabolises. We report here that in a heterologous system using CV-1 cells transiently transfected with PPARγ2, co-expression of ALBP/aP2 enhances the PPAR-dependent activation of gene transcription. These results suggest that ALBP/aP2 functions as a positive factor in fatty acid signalling by directly targetting and delivering fatty acids metabolites to the lipid signal transduction pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank members of the Bernlohr laboratory for helpful suggestions and comments during the preparation of this manuscript. This work was supported by American Institute of Cancer Research grant 95B039 to DAB. AVH was supported by National Institutes of Health NRSA 1 F32 DK 09599-01 ZRG2 01. In addition, the assistance of the University of Minnesota Obesity Center is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Adipocytes
  • Fatty acids
  • Gene regulation


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