BBA - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids (v.1841, #1)

Probing conformational changes in lipoxygenases upon membrane binding: Fine-tuning by the active site inhibitor ETYA by Almerinda Di Venere; Eleonora Nicolai; Igor Ivanov; Enrico Dainese; Susan Adel; B.C. Angelucci; Hartmut Kuhn; Mauro Maccarrone; Giampiero Mei (1-10).
Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are lipid-peroxidizing enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their biological activity includes a membrane binding process whose molecular details are not completely understood. The mechanism of enzyme–membrane interactions is thought to involve conformational changes at the level of the protein tertiary structure, and the extent of such alterations depends on the degree of structural flexibility of the different LOX isoforms. In this study, we have tested the resilience properties of a plant and a mammalian LOX, by using high pressure fluorescence measurements at different temperatures. The binding of LOXs to the lipid bilayer has been characterized using both large and giant unilamellar vesicles and electron transfer particles (inner mitochondrial membranes) as model membranes. The data indicate that the degree of LOXs' flexibility is strictly dependent on the two distinct N- and C-terminal domains that characterize the 3D structure of these enzymes. Furthermore, they demonstrate that increasing the rigidity of protein scaffolding by the presence of an active site ligand impairs the membrane binding ability of LOXs. These findings provide evidence that the amphitropic nature of LOXs is finely tuned by the interaction of the substrate with the residues of the active site, suggesting new strategies for the design of enzyme inhibitors.
Keywords: Lipoxygenases; Fluorescence dynamics; Motional flexibility; High pressure;

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) induces COX-2 expression and PGE2 formation via S1P receptor 2 in renal mesangial cells by Anja Völzke; Alexander Koch; Dagmar Meyer zu Heringdorf; Andrea Huwiler; Josef Pfeilschifter (11-21).
Understanding the mechanisms of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)-induced cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) formation in renal mesangial cells may provide potential therapeutic targets to treat inflammatory glomerular diseases. Thus, we evaluated the S1P-dependent signaling mechanisms which are responsible for enhanced COX-2 expression and PGE2 formation in rat mesangial cells under basal conditions. Furthermore, we investigated whether these mechanisms are operative in the presence of angiotensin II (Ang II) and of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β).Treatment of rat and human mesangial cells with S1P led to concentration-dependent enhanced expression of COX-2. Pharmacological and molecular biology approaches revealed that the S1P-dependent increase of COX-2 mRNA and protein expression was mediated via activation of S1P receptor 2 (S1P2). Further, inhibition of Gi and p42/p44 MAPK signaling, both downstream of S1P2, abolished the S1P-induced COX-2 expression. In addition, S1P/S1P2-dependent upregulation of COX-2 led to significantly elevated PGE2 levels, which were further potentiated in the presence of Ang II and IL-1β. A functional consequence downstream of S1P/S1P2 signaling is mesangial cell migration that is stimulated by S1P. Interestingly, inhibition of COX-2 by celecoxib and SC-236 completely abolished the migratory response.Overall, our results demonstrate that extracellular S1P induces COX-2 expression via activation of S1P2 and subsequent Gi and p42/p44 MAPK-dependent signaling in renal mesangial cells leading to enhanced PGE2 formation and cell migration that essentially requires COX-2. Thus, targeting S1P/S1P2 signaling pathways might be a novel strategy to treat renal inflammatory diseases.Display Omitted
Keywords: Sphingosine 1-phosphate; S1P receptor; COX-2; PGE2; Mesangial cells;

tert-Butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) protects hepatocytes against lipotoxicity via inducing autophagy independently of Nrf2 activation by Songtao Li; Jiaxin Li; Chen Shen; Ximei Zhang; Shan Sun; Michael Cho; Changhao Sun; Zhenyuan Song (22-33).
Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) induce hepatocyte cell death, wherein oxidative stress is mechanistically involved. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is a master transcriptional regulator of cellular antioxidant defense enzymes. Therefore, Nrf2 activation is regarded as an effective strategy against oxidative stress-triggered cellular damage. In this study, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), a widely used Nrf2 activator, was initially employed to investigate the potential protective role of Nrf2 activation in SFA-induced hepatoxicity. As expected, SFA-induced hepatocyte cell death was prevented by tBHQ in both AML-12 mouse hepatocytes and HepG2 human hepatoma cells. However, the protective effect of tBHQ is Nrf2-independent, because the siRNA-mediated Nrf2 silencing did not abrogate tBHQ-conferred protection. Alternatively, our results revealed that autophagy activation was critically involved in the protective effect of tBHQ on lipotoxicity. tBHQ induced autophagy activation and autophagy inhibitors abolished tBHQ's protection. The induction of autophagy by tBHQ exposure was demonstrated by the increased accumulation of LC3 puncta, LC3-II conversion, and autophagic flux (LC3-II conversion in the presence of proteolysis inhibitors). Subsequent mechanistic investigation discovered that tBHQ exposure activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and siRNA-mediated AMPK gene silencing abolished tBHQ-induced autophagy activation, indicating that AMPK is critically involved in tBHQ-triggered autophagy induction. Furthermore, our study provided evidence that tBHQ-induced autophagy activation is required for its Nrf2-activating property. Collectively, our data uncover a novel mechanism for tBHQ in protecting hepatocytes against SFA-induced lipotoxicity. tBHQ-triggered autophagy induction contributes not only to its hepatoprotective effect, but also to its Nrf2-activating property.
Keywords: tert-Butylhydroquinone; Autophagy; SFAs; Lipotoxicity; AMPK; Nrf2;

We provide novel insights into the function(s) of β-carotene-15,15′-oxygenase (CMOI) during embryogenesis. By performing in vivo and in vitro experiments, we showed that CMOI influences not only lecithin:retinol acyltransferase but also acyl CoA:retinol acyltransferase reaction in the developing tissues at mid-gestation. In addition, LC/MS lipidomics analysis of the CMOI −/− embryos showed reduced levels of four phosphatidylcholine and three phosphatidylethanolamine acyl chain species, and of eight triacylglycerol species with four or more unsaturations and fifty-two or more carbons in the acyl chains. Cholesteryl esters of arachidonate, palmitate, linoleate, and DHA were also reduced to less than 30% of control. Analysis of the fatty acyl CoA species ruled out a loss in fatty acyl CoA synthetase capability. Comparison of acyl species suggested significantly decreased 18:2, 18:3, 20:1, 20:4, or 22:6 acyl chains within the above lipids in CMOI-null embryos. Furthermore, LCAT, ACAT1 and DGAT2 mRNA levels were also downregulated in CMOI −/− embryos. These data strongly support the notion that, in addition to cleaving β-carotene to generate retinoids, CMOI serves an additional function(s) in retinoid and lipid metabolism and point to its role in the formation of specific lipids, possibly for use in nervous system tissue.
Keywords: β-Carotene; β-Carotene cleavage enzyme; Acylation reaction; Gene expression;

Role of long-chain acyl-coenzyme A synthetases in the regulation of arachidonic acid metabolism in interleukin 1β-stimulated rat fibroblasts by Hiroshi Kuwata; Makiko Yoshimura; Yuka Sasaki; Emiko Yoda; Yoshihito Nakatani; Ichiro Kudo; Shuntaro Hara (44-53).
Acyl coenzyme A synthetase long-chain family members (ACSLs) are a family of enzymes that convert long-chain free fatty acids into their acyl-CoAs and play an important role in fatty acid metabolism. Here we show the role of ACSL isozymes in interleukin (IL)-1β-induced arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism in rat fibroblastic 3Y1 cells. Treatment of 3Y1 cells with triacsin C, an ACSL inhibitor, markedly enhanced the IL-1β-induced prostaglandin (PG) biosynthesis. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous Acsl4 expression increased significantly the release of AA metabolites, including PGE2, PGD2, and PGF, compared with replicated control cells, whereas knockdown of Acsl1 expression reduced the IL-1β-induced release of AA metabolites. Experiments with double knockdown of Acsl4 and intracellular phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isozymes revealed that cytosolic PLA2α, but not calcium-independent PLA2s, is involved in the Acsl4 knockdown-enhanced PG biosynthesis. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of cellular phospholipids bearing AA showed that the levels of some, if not all, phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylinositol species in Acsl4 knockdown cells were decreased after IL-1β stimulation, while those in control cells were not so obviously decreased. In Acsl1 knockdown cells, the levels of some AA-bearing PC species were reduced even in the unstimulated condition. Collectively, these results suggest that Acsl isozymes play distinct roles in the control of AA remodeling in rat fibroblasts: Acsl4 acts as the first step of enzyme for AA remodeling following IL-1β stimulation, and Acsl1 is involved in the maintenance of some AA-containing PC species.
Keywords: acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member; Arachidonic acid; Prostaglandins; Cyclooxygenase; Glycerophospholipid; Phospholipase A2;

Ontogenic changes in lung cholesterol metabolism, lipid content, and histology in mice with Niemann–Pick type C disease by Charina M. Ramirez; Adam M. Lopez; Lam Q. Le; Kenneth S. Posey; Arthur G. Weinberg; Stephen D. Turley (54-61).
Niemann–Pick Type C (NPC) disease is caused by a deficiency of either NPC1 or NPC2. Loss of function of either protein results in the progressive accumulation of unesterified cholesterol in every tissue leading to cell death and organ damage. Most literature on NPC disease focuses on neurological and liver manifestations. Pulmonary dysfunction is less well described. The present studies investigated how Npc1 deficiency impacts the absolute weight, lipid composition and histology of the lungs of Npc1−/− mice (Npc1nih ) at different stages of the disease, and also quantitated changes in the rates of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis in the lung over this same time span (8 to 70 days of age). Similar measurements were made in Npc2−/− mice at 70 days. All mice were of the BALB/c strain and were fed a basal rodent chow diet. Well before weaning, the lung weight, cholesterol and phospholipid (PL) content, and cholesterol synthesis rate were all elevated in the Npc1−/− mice and remained so at 70 days of age. In contrast, lung triacylglycerol content was reduced while there was no change in lung fatty acid synthesis. Despite the elevated PL content, the composition of PL in the lungs of the Npc1−/− mice was unchanged. H&E staining revealed an age-related increase in the presence of lipid-laden macrophages in the alveoli of the lungs of the Npc1−/− mice starting as early as 28 days. Similar metabolic and histologic changes were evident in the lungs of the Npc2−/− mice. Together these findings demonstrate an intrinsic lung pathology in NPC disease that is of early onset and worsens over time.
Keywords: Pulmonary; Alveoli; Phospholipid; Triacylglycerol; Liver;

A theoretical study of lipid accumulation in the liver—implications for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by J. Schleicher; R. Guthke; U. Dahmen; O. Dirsch; H.G. Holzhuetter; S. Schuster (62-69).
A hallmark of the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the accumulation of lipids. We developed a mathematical model of the hepatic lipid dynamics to simulate the fate of fatty acids in hepatocytes. Our model involves fatty acid uptake, lipid oxidation, and lipid export. It takes into account that storage of triacylglycerol within hepatocytes leads to cell enlargement reducing the sinusoids radius and impairing hepatic microcirculation. Thus oxygen supply is reduced, which impairs lipid oxidation. The analysis of our model revealed a bistable behavior (two stable steady states) of the system, in agreement with histological observations showing distinct areas of lipid accumulation in lobules. The first (healthy) state is characterized by intact lipid oxidation and a low amount of stored lipids. The second state in our model may correspond to the steatotic cell; it is marked by a high amount of stored lipids and a reduced lipid oxidation caused by impaired oxygen supply. Our model stresses the role of insufficient oxygen supply for the development of steatosis. We discuss implications of our results in regard to the experimental design aimed at exploring lipid metabolism reactions under steatotic conditions. Moreover, the model helps to understand the reversibility of lipid accumulation and predicts the reversible switch to show hysteresis. The system can switch from the steatotic state back to the healthy state by reduction of fatty acid uptake below the threshold at which steatosis started. The reversibility corresponds to the observation that caloric restriction can reduce the lipid content in the liver.
Keywords: Fatty acid oxidation; Hypoxia; Hepatic lipid metabolism; NAFLD; Steatosis;

Combined LC/MS-platform for analysis of all major stratum corneum lipids, and the profiling of skin substitutes by Jeroen van Smeden; Walter A. Boiten; Thomas Hankemeier; Robert Rissmann; Joke A. Bouwstra; Rob J. Vreeken (70-79).
Ceramides (CERs), cholesterol, and free fatty acids (FFAs) are the main lipid classes in human stratum corneum (SC, outermost skin layer), but no studies report on the detailed analysis of these classes in a single platform. The primary aims of this study were to 1) develop an LC/MS method for (semi-)quantitative analysis of all main lipid classes present in human SC; and 2) use this method to study in detail the lipid profiles of human skin substitutes and compare them to human SC lipids. By applying two injections of 10 μl, the developed method detects all major SC lipids using RPLC and negative ion mode APCI-MS for detection of FFAs, and NPLC using positive ion mode APCI-MS to analyze CERs and cholesterol. Validation showed this lipid platform to be robust, reproducible, sensitive, and fast. The method was successfully applied on ex vivo human SC, human SC obtained from tape strips and human skin substitutes (porcine SC and human skin equivalents). In conjunction with FFA profiles, clear differences in CER profiles were observed between these different SC sources. Human skin equivalents more closely mimic the lipid composition of human stratum corneum than porcine skin does, although noticeable differences are still present. These differences gave biologically relevant information on some of the enzymes that are probably involved in SC lipid processing. For future research, this provides an excellent method for (semi-)quantitative, ‘high-throughput’ profiling of SC lipids and can be used to advance the understanding of skin lipids and the biological processes involved.Display Omitted
Keywords: Stratum corneum lipid; LC/MS; Free fatty acid; Ceramide; Human skin equivalent; Porcine skin;

The roles of C-terminal helices of human apolipoprotein A-I in formation of high-density lipoprotein particles by Kohjiro Nagao; Mami Hata; Kento Tanaka; Yuki Takechi; David Nguyen; Padmaja Dhanasekaran; Sissel Lund-Katz; Michael C. Phillips; Hiroyuki Saito (80-87).
Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) accepts cholesterol and phospholipids from ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1)-expressing cells to form high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Human apoA-I has two tertiary structural domains and the C-terminal domain (approximately amino acids 190–243) plays a key role in lipid binding. Although the high lipid affinity region of the C-terminal domain of apoA-I (residues 223–243) is essential for the HDL formation, the function of low lipid affinity region (residues 191–220) remains unclear. To evaluate the role of residues 191–220, we analyzed the structure, lipid binding properties, and HDL formation activity of Δ191–220 apoA-I, in comparison to wild-type and Δ223–243 apoA-I. Although deletion of residues 191–220 has a slight effect on the tertiary structure of apoA-I, the Δ191–220 variant showed intermediate behavior between wild-type and Δ223–243 regarding the formation of hydrophobic sites and lipid interaction through the C-terminal domain. Physicochemical analysis demonstrated that defective lipid binding of Δ191–220 apoA-I is due to the decreased ability to form α-helix structure which provides the energetic source for lipid binding. In addition, the ability to form HDL particles in vitro and induce cholesterol efflux from ABCA1-expressing cells of Δ191–220 apoA-I was also intermediate between wild-type and Δ223–243 apoA-I. These results suggest that despite possessing low lipid affinity, residues 191–220 play a role in enhancing the ability of apoA-I to bind to and solubilize lipids by forming α-helix upon lipid interaction. Our results demonstrate that the combination of low lipid affinity region and high lipid affinity region of apoA-I is required for efficient ABCA1-dependent HDL formation.
Keywords: ABCA1; ApoA-I; HDL; Cholesterol;

Pro-fibrotic activity of lysophosphatidic acid in adipose tissue: In vivo and in vitro evidence by Chloé Rancoule; Manon Viaud; Sandra Gres; Nathalie Viguerie; Pauline Decaunes; Anne Bouloumié; Dominique Langin; Jean-Loup Bascands; Philippe Valet; Jean Sébastien Saulnier-Blache (88-96).
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a pro-fibrotic mediator acting via specific receptors (LPARs) and is synthesized by autotaxin, that increases with obesity. We tested whether LPA could play a role in adipose tissue (AT)-fibrosis associated with obesity. Fibrosis [type I, III, and IV collagens (COL), fibronectin (FN), TGFβ, CTGF and αSMA] and inflammation (MCP1 and F4/80) markers were quantified: (i) in vivo in inguinal (IAT) and perigonadic (PGAT) AT from obese-diabetic db/db mice treated with the LPAR antagonist Ki16425 (5 mg/kg/day ip for 7 weeks); and (ii) in vitro in human AT explants in primary culture for 72 h in the presence of oleoyl-LPA (10 μM) and/or Ki16425 (10 μM) and/or the HIF-1α inhibitor YC-1 (100 μM). Treatment of db/db mice with Ki16425 reduced Col I and IV mRNAs in IAT and PGAT while Col III mRNAs were only reduced in IAT. This was associated with reduction of COL protein staining in both IAT and PGAT. AT explants showed a spontaneous and time-dependent increase in ATX expression and production of LPA in the culture medium, along with increased levels of Col I and III, TGFβ and αSMA mRNAs and of COL protein staining. In vitro fibrosis was blocked by Ki16425 and was further amplified by oleoyl-LPA. LPA-dependent in vitro fibrosis was blocked by co-treatment with YC1. Our results show that endogenous and exogenous LPA exert a pro-fibrotic activity in AT in vivo and in vitro. This activity could be mediated by an LPA1R-dependent pathway and could involve HIF-1α.
Keywords: Lysophosphatidic acid; Adipose tissue; Fibrosis;

Differential TLR2 downstream signaling regulates lipid metabolism and cytokine production triggered by Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection by Patrícia E. Almeida; Natália R. Roque; Kelly G. Magalhães; Katherine A. Mattos; Livia Teixeira; Clarissa Maya-Monteiro; Cecília J. Almeida; Hugo C. Castro-Faria-Neto; Bernhard Ryffel; Valérie F.J. Quesniaux; Patrícia T. Bozza (97-107).
The nuclear receptor PPARγ acts as a key modulator of lipid metabolism, inflammation and pathogenesis in BCG-infected macrophages. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in PPARγ expression and functions during infection are not completely understood. Here, we investigate signaling pathways triggered by TLR2, the involvement of co-receptors and lipid rafts in the mechanism of PPARγ expression, lipid body formation and cytokine synthesis in macrophages during BCG infection. BCG induces NF-κB activation and increased PPARγ expression in a TLR2-dependent manner. Furthermore, BCG-triggered increase of lipid body biogenesis was inhibited by the PPARγ antagonist GW9662, but not by the NF-κB inhibitor JSH-23. In contrast, KC/CXCL1 production was largely dependent on NF-κB but not on PPARγ. BCG infection induced increased expression of CD36 in macrophages in vitro. Moreover, CD36 co-immunoprecipitates with TLR2 in BCG-infected macrophages, suggesting its interaction with TLR2 in BCG signaling. Pretreatment with CD36 neutralizing antibodies significantly inhibited PPARγ expression, lipid body formation and PGE2 production induced by BCG. Involvement of CD36 in lipid body formation was further confirmed by decreased BCG-induced lipid body formation in CD36 deficient macrophages. Similarly, CD14 and CD11b/CD18 blockage also inhibited BCG-induced lipid body formation, whereas TNF-α synthesis was not affected. Disruption of rafts recapitulates the latter result, inhibiting lipid body formation, but not TNF-α synthesis in BCG-infected macrophages. In conclusion, our results suggest that CD36-TLR2 cooperation and signaling compartmentalization within rafts, divert host response signaling through PPARγ-dependent and NF-κB-independent pathways, leading to increased macrophage lipid accumulation and down-modulation of macrophage response.Display Omitted
Keywords: Nuclear receptor; TLR; Lipid droplet; CD36; PPARgamma;

Exosomes as new vesicular lipid transporters involved in cell–cell communication and various pathophysiologies by Michel Record; Kevin Carayon; Marc Poirot; Sandrine Silvente-Poirot (108-120).
Exosomes are nanovesicles that have emerged as a new intercellular communication system between an intracellular compartment of a donor cell towards the periphery or an internal compartment of a recipient cell. The bioactivity of exosomes resides not only in their protein and RNA contents but also in their lipidic molecules. Exosomes display original lipids organized in a bilayer membrane and along with the lipid carriers such as fatty acid binding proteins that they contain, exosomes transport bioactive lipids. Exosomes can vectorize lipids such as eicosanoids, fatty acids, and cholesterol, and their lipid composition can be modified by in-vitro manipulation. They also contain lipid related enzymes so that they can constitute an autonomous unit of production of various bioactive lipids. Exosomes can circulate between proximal or distal cells and their fate can be regulated in part by lipidic molecules. Compared to their parental cells, exosomes are enriched in cholesterol and sphingomyelin and their accumulation in cells might modulate recipient cell homeostasis. Exosome release from cells appears to be a general biological process. They have been reported in all biological fluids from which they can be recovered and can be monitors of specific pathophysiological situations. Thus, the lipid content of circulating exosomes could be useful biomarkers of lipid related diseases. Since the first lipid analysis of exosomes ten years ago detailed knowledge of exosomal lipids has accumulated. The role of lipids in exosome fate and bioactivity and how they constitute an additional lipid transport system are considered in this review.Display Omitted
Keywords: Microautophagy; Bis(Monoacylglycero) Phosphate (BMP or LBPA); Phospholipases (A1, A2, D); Prostaglandin E2; Cholesterol epoxide hydrolase (CHEH); Aminoalkyl sterols;

Extracellular metabolism-dependent uptake of lysolipids through cultured monolayer of differentiated Caco-2 cells by Maiko Inaba; Kaeko Murota; Miki Nikawadori; Erika Kishino; Risa Matusda; Mika Takagi; Takeshi Ohkubo; Tamotsu Tanaka; Junji Terao; Akira Tokumura (121-131).
Glycerophospholipids are known to be hydrolyzed in the intestinal lumen into free fatty acids and lysophospholipids that are then absorbed by the intestinal epithelial cells. A monolayer of enterocyte-differentiated Caco-2 cell is often used to assess the intestinal bioavailability of nutrients. In this study, we examined how differentiated Caco-2 cells process lysoglycerolipids such as lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). Our findings were twofold. (1) Caco-2 cells secreted both a lysophospholipase A-like enzyme and a glycerophosphocholine-phosphodiesterase enzyme into the apical, but not basolateral, lumen, suggesting that food-derived LPC is converted to a free fatty acid, sn-glycerol-3-phosphate, and choline through two sequential enzymatic reactions in humans. The release of the latter enzyme was differentiation-dependent. (2) Fatty acid-releasing activities toward exogenous fluorescent LPC, lysophosphatidic acid and monoacylglycerol were shown to be higher on the apical membranes of Caco-2 cells than on the basolateral membranes. These results suggest that human intestinal epithelial cells metabolize lysoglycerolipids by two distinct mechanisms involving secreted or apical-selective expression of metabolic enzymes.
Keywords: Caco-2 cell; GPC phosphodiesterase; Lysophosphatidic acid; Lysophosphatidylcholine; Lysophospholipase; Monoacylglycerol;

Genistein stimulates fatty acid oxidation in a leptin receptor-independent manner through the JAK2-mediated phosphorylation and activation of AMPK in skeletal muscle by Berenice Palacios-González; Angel Zarain-Herzberg; Isabel Flores-Galicia; Lilia G. Noriega; Gabriela Alemán-Escondrillas; Teresa Zariñan; Alfredo Ulloa-Aguirre; Nimbe Torres; Armando R. Tovar (132-140).
Obesity is a public health problem that contributes to the development of insulin resistance, which is associated with an excessive accumulation of lipids in skeletal muscle tissue. There is evidence that soy protein can decrease the ectopic accumulation of lipids and improves insulin sensitivity; however, it is unknown whether soy isoflavones, particularly genistein, can stimulate fatty acid oxidation in the skeletal muscle. Thus, we studied the mechanism by which genistein stimulates fatty acid oxidation in the skeletal muscle. We showed that genistein induced the expression of genes of fatty acid oxidation in the skeletal muscle of Zucker fa/fa rats and in leptin receptor (ObR)-silenced C2C12 myotubes through AMPK phosphorylation. Furthermore, the genistein-mediated AMPK phosphorylation occurred via JAK2, which was possibly activated through a mechanism that involved cAMP. Additionally, the genistein-mediated induction of fatty acid oxidation genes involved PGC1α and PPARδ. As a result, we observed that genistein increased fatty acid oxidation in both the control and silenced C2C12 myotubes, as well as a decrease in the RER in mice, suggesting that genistein can be used in strategies to decrease lipid accumulation in the skeletal muscle.
Keywords: Genistein; Soy protein; AMPK; JAK2; Fatty acid oxidation; Skeletal muscle;

IFABP portal region insertion during membrane interaction depends on phospholipid composition by Eduardo de Gerónimo; Luciana Rodriguez Sawicki; Natalia Bottasso Arias; Gisela Raquel Franchini; Fernando Zamarreño; Marcelo Daniel Costabel; Betina Córsico; Lisandro Jorge Falomir Lockhart (141-150).
Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (IFABP) is highly expressed in the intestinal epithelium and it belongs to the family of soluble lipid binding proteins. These proteins are thought to participate in most aspects of the biology of lipids, regulating its availability for specific metabolic pathways, targeting and vectorial trafficking of lipids to specific subcellular compartments. The present study is based on the ability of IFABP to interact with phospholipid membranes, and we characterized its immersion into the bilayer's hydrophobic central region occupied by the acyl-chains. We constructed a series of Trp-mutants of IFABP to selectively probe the interaction of different regions of the protein, particularly the elements forming the portal domain that is proposed to regulate the exit and entry of ligands to/from the binding cavity. We employed several fluorescent techniques based on selective quenching induced by soluble or membrane confined agents. The results indicate that the portal region of IFABP penetrates deeply into the phospholipid bilayer, especially when CL-containing vesicles are employed. The orientation of the protein and the degree of penetration were highly dependent on the lipid composition, the superficial net charge and the ionic strength of the medium. These results may be relevant to understand the mechanism of ligand transfer and the specificity responsible for the unique functions of each member of the FABP family.Display Omitted
Keywords: Fatty acid binding protein; Protein–lipid interaction; Intracellular lipid traffic; Intestinal lipid traffic; Brominated phospholipid;

Cadmium is known to harm rat testis by causing the dose-dependent apoptotic or necrotic death of seminiferous epithelium cells. Here we investigated how this affects the lipids with long-chain (C18–C22) and very-long-chain (C24–C32) polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFA) typical of spermatogenic and Sertoli cells. A severe acute inflammatory reaction resulted from the massive necrotic death of these cells two days after a single high (4 mg/kg) dose of CdCl2. This led to the conversion of most testicular glycerophospholipids to diradylglycerols (DRG) and free fatty acids (FFA) and of most sphingomyelins to ceramides (Cer). By day 30 the testis weight had decreased three-fold. The DRG and FFA had been metabolized but, unexpectedly, ceramides persisted. Also slow to disappear were VLCPUFA-containing triacylglycerols from former germ cells and ether-linked triglycerides and cholesteryl esters (CE) from former Sertoli cells. Similar results were observed 30 and 45 days after administering repeated small non pro-inflammatory CdCl2 doses (1 mg/kg). At day 30 after both treatments, an amorphous material replaced the original seminiferous tubules and the interstitium was populated by macrophages. Species of CE and ether-linked triglycerides containing fatty acids other than VLCPUFA steadily accumulated in the irreversibly damaged testis, a manifestation of the activity of these cells. The long-term permanence of original VLCPUFA-containing neutral lipids, especially ceramides, indicates that these phagocytes were slow to clear out the acellular material contained in seminiferous tubules, pointing to a form of silent chronic inflammation as an additional outcome of the multifactorial commotion caused in the testis by experimentally administered cadmium.
Keywords: Germ cells; Sertoli cells; Macrophages; Sphingomyelins; Triacylglycerols; Very long chain fatty acids;

Searching for a successful HDL-based treatment strategy by Srinivasa T. Reddy; Mohamad Navab; G.M. Anantharamaiah; Alan M. Fogelman (162-167).
Despite strong evidence that HDL-cholesterol levels predict atherosclerotic events in a population, attempts at using an HDL-based treatment strategy have not yet been successful. Most of the efforts to date have focused on raising plasma HDL-cholesterol levels. This brief review focuses on a different strategy, which is based on the use of 18-amino acid apoA-I mimetic peptides. The story of these peptides spans decades and illustrates the remarkable complexity of HDL-based treatment strategies, but suggests that such a strategy may still be successful.
Keywords: HDL; Apolipoprotein A-I; Apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide 6F; Atherosclerosis; Cancer; Lysophosphatidic acid;

The ATP-binding cassette transporters are a large family (~ 48 genes divided into seven families A–G) of proteins that utilize the energy of ATP-hydrolysis to pump substrates across lipid bilayers against a concentration gradient. The ABC “A” subfamily is comprised of 13 members and transport sterols, phospholipids and bile acids. ABCA2 is the most abundant ABC transporter in human and rodent brain with highest expression in oligodendrocytes, although it is also expressed in neurons. Several groups have studied a possible connection between ABCA2 and Alzheimer's disease as well as early atherosclerosis. ABCA2 expression levels have been associated with changes in cholesterol and sphingolipid metabolism. In this paper, we hypothesized that ABCA2 expression level may regulate esterification of plasma membrane-derived cholesterol by modulation of sphingolipid metabolism. ABCA2 overexpression in N2a neuroblastoma cells was associated with an altered bilayer distribution of the sphingolipid ceramide that inhibited acylCoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity and cholesterol esterification. In contrast, depletion of endogenous ABCA2 in the rat schwannoma cell line D6P2T increased esterification of plasma membrane cholesterol following treatment with exogenous bacterial sphingomyelinase. These findings suggest that control of ABCA2 expression level may be a key locus of regulation for esterification of plasma membrane-derived cholesterol through modulation of sphingolipid metabolism.
Keywords: ABCA2; Transporter; Cholesterol; Esterification; Sphingomyelin; Ceramide;

Apolipoprotein A-I configuration and cell cholesterol efflux activity of discoidal lipoproteins depend on the reconstitution process by Luz Ángela Cuellar; Eduardo Daniel Prieto; Laura Virginia Cabaleiro; Horacio Alberto Garda (180-189).
Discoidal high-density lipoproteins (D-HDL) are critical intermediates in reverse cholesterol transport. Most of the present knowledge of D-HDL is based on studies with reconstituted lipoprotein complexes of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) obtained by cholate dialysis (CD). D-HDL can also be generated by the direct microsolubilization (DM) of phospholipid vesicles at the gel/fluid phase transition temperature, a process mechanistically similar to the “in vivo” apoAI lipidation via ABCA1. We compared the apoA-I configuration in D-HDL reconstituted with dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine by both procedures using fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements with apoA-I tryptophan mutants and fluorescently labeled cysteine mutants. Results indicate that apoA-I configuration in D-HDL depends on the reconstitution process and are consistent with a “double belt” molecular arrangement with different helix registry. As reported by others, a configuration with juxtaposition of helices 5 of each apoAI monomer (5/5 registry) predominates in D-HDL obtained by CD. However, a configuration with helix 5 of one monomer juxtaposed with helix 2 of the other (5/2 registry) would predominate in D-HDL generated by DM. Moreover, we also show that the kinetics of cholesterol efflux from macrophage cultures depends on the reconstitution process, suggesting that apoAI configuration is important for this HDL function.
Keywords: Apolipoproteins; Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET); Lipoprotein structure; Site directed mutagenesis; Single tryptophan mutants; Cysteine mutants;

Down-regulation of lipid raft-associated onco-proteins via cholesterol-dependent lipid raft internalization in docosahexaenoic acid-induced apoptosis by Eun Jeong Lee; Un-Jung Yun; Kyung Hee Koo; Jee Young Sung; Jaegal Shim; Sang-Kyu Ye; Kyeong-Man Hong; Yong-Nyun Kim (190-203).
Lipid rafts, plasma membrane microdomains, are important for cell survival signaling and cholesterol is a critical lipid component for lipid raft integrity and function. DHA is known to have poor affinity for cholesterol and it influences lipid rafts. Here, we investigated a mechanism underlying the anti-cancer effects of DHA using a human breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231. We found that DHA decreased cell surface levels of lipid rafts via their internalization, which was partially reversed by cholesterol addition. With DHA treatment, caveolin-1, a marker for rafts, and EGFR were colocalized with LAMP-1, a lysosomal marker, in a cholesterol-dependent manner, indicating that DHA induces raft fusion with lysosomes. DHA not only displaced several raft-associated onco-proteins, including EGFR, Hsp90, Akt, and Src, from the rafts but also decreased total levels of those proteins via multiple pathways, including the proteasomal and lysosomal pathways, thereby decreasing their activities. Hsp90 overexpression maintained its client proteins, EGFR and Akt, and attenuated DHA-induced cell death. In addition, overexpression of Akt or constitutively active Akt attenuated DHA-induced apoptosis. All these data indicate that the anti-proliferative effect of DHA is mediated by targeting of lipid rafts via decreasing cell surface lipid rafts by their internalization, thereby decreasing raft-associated onco-proteins via proteasomal and lysosomal pathways and decreasing Hsp90 chaperone function.
Keywords: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); Lipid raft; Hsp90; EGFR; Akt; Cholesterol;

Identification of genes and pathways involved in the synthesis of Mead acid (20:3n − 9), an indicator of essential fatty acid deficiency by Ikuyo Ichi; Nozomu Kono; Yuka Arita; Shizuka Haga; Kotoko Arisawa; Misato Yamano; Mana Nagase; Yoko Fujiwara; Hiroyuki Arai (204-213).
In mammals, 5,8,11-eicosatrienoic acid (Mead acid, 20:3n − 9) is synthesized from oleic acid during a state of essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD). Mead acid is thought to be produced by the same enzymes that synthesize arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, but the genes and the pathways involved in the conversion of oleic acid to Mead acid have not been fully elucidated. The levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cultured cells are generally very low compared to those in mammalian tissues. In this study, we found that cultured cells, such as NIH3T3 and Hepa1–6 cells, have significant levels of Mead acid, indicating that cells in culture are in an EFAD state under normal culture conditions. We then examined the effect of siRNA-mediated knockdown of fatty acid desaturases and elongases on the level of Mead acid, and found that knockdown of Elovl5, Fads1, or Fads2 decreased the level of Mead acid. This and the measured levels of possible intermediate products for the synthesis of Mead acid such as 18:2n − 9, 20:1n − 9 and 20:2n − 9 in the knocked down cells indicate two pathways for the synthesis of Mead acid: pathway 1) 18:1n − 9 → (Fads2) → 18:2n − 9 → (Elovl5) → 20:2n − 9 → (Fads1) → 20:3n − 9 and pathway 2) 18:1n − 9 → (Elovl5) → 20:1n − 9 → (Fads2) → 20:2n − 9 → (Fads1) → 20:3n − 9.
Keywords: Mead acid; Essential fatty acid deficiency; Elovl5; Fads; Polyunsaturated fatty acid;