Experimental evidence has suggested that plasma membrane (PM)-associated signaling and hence cell metabolism and viability depend on lipid composition and organization. The aim of the present work is to develop a cell model to study the endogenous polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) effect on PM properties and analyze its influence on cholesterol (Chol) homeostasis. We have previously shown that by using a cell line over-expressing stearoyl-CoA-desaturase, membrane composition and organization coordinate cellular pathways involved in Chol efflux and cell viability by different mechanisms. Now, we expanded our studies to a cell model over-expressing both ?5 and ?6 desaturases, which resulted in a permanently higher PUFA content in PM. Furthermore, this cell line showed increased PM fluidity, Chol storage, and mitochondrial activity. In addition, human apolipoprotein A-I-mediated Chol removal was less efficient in these cells than in the corresponding control. Taken together, our results suggested that the cell functionality is preserved by regulating PM organization and Chol exportation and homeostasis.
The de novo synthesis of glycerolipids in mammalian cells begins with the acylation of glycerol-3-phosphate, catalyzed by glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT). GPAT2 is a mitochondrial isoform primarily expressed in testis under physiological conditions. Because it is aberrantly expressed in multiple myeloma, it has been proposed as a novel cancer testis gene. Using a bioinformatics approach, we found that GPAT2 is highly expressed in melanoma, lung, prostate and breast cancer, and we validated GPAT2 expression at the protein level in breast cancer by immunohistochemistry. In this case GPAT2 expression correlated with a higher histological grade. 5-Aza-2' deoxycytidine treatment of human cells lines induced GPAT2 expression suggesting epigenetic regulation of gene expression. In order to evaluate the contribution of GPAT2 to the tumor phenotype, we silenced its expression in MDA-MB-231 cells. GPAT2 knockdown diminished cell proliferation, anchorage independent growth, migration and tumorigenicity, and increased staurosporine-induced apoptosis. In contrast, GPAT2 over-expression increased cell proliferation rate and resistance to staurosporine-induced apoptosis. To understand the functional role of GPAT2, we performed a co-expression analysis in mouse and human testis and found a significant association with semantic terms involved in cell cycle, DNA integrity maintenance, piRNA biogenesis and epigenetic regulation. Overall, these results indicate the GPAT2 would be directly associated with the control of cell proliferation. In conclusion, we confirm GPAT2 as a cancer testis gene and that its expression contributes to the tumor phenotype of MDA-MB-231 cells.
A sucrose-rich diet (SRD), compared with a starch diet, induces time-dependent metabolic disorders and insulin resistance with hypertriglyceridemia, similar to type 2 diabetes. In this study, we examined the effect of SRD, after 8 mo, on nuclear receptors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARalpha), and liver X receptor-alpha (LXRalpha), stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1), and Delta6 and Delta5 desaturases mRNA and activity, hepatic enzymes involved in lipid metabolism, and fatty acid (FA) composition as well as the reversal produced by cod liver oil. SRD induced triglyceride increase in plasma and liver, increasing the anabolic FA synthase, malic enzyme, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, but not the prooxidative enzymes FA oxidase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase I, and correspondingly decreased PPARalpha and increased LXRalpha expressions. Results suggest a contribution of both nuclear receptors interaction on these enzymatic activities. SRD depressed SCD-1 without altering oleic acid proportion and increased Delta6 and Delta5 desaturases and the proportion of n-6 arachidonic acid. Therefore, the data do not support that SRD hypertriglyceridemia is produced by increased SCD-1-dependent oleic acid biosynthesis. The administration of 7% cod liver oil for 2 mo depressed LXRalpha, enhancing PPARalpha in control and SRD-fed rats, reversing the activity of the hepatic enzymes involved in lipid metabolism and therefore the hyperlipidemia produced by the SRD. Fish oil increased n-3 PUFA and depressed n-6 PUFA of liver lipids without altering the 18:1/18:0 ratio, suggesting that its effects were produced mainly by competition of dietary n-6 and n-3 FA and not through desaturase activity modification.
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