Inhibition of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 in differentiating 3T3-L1 preadipocytes upregulates elongase 6 and downregulates genes affecting triacylglycerol synthesis
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BACKGROUND: Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) is rate limiting for the conversion of saturated fatty acids palmitate (16:0) and stearate (18:0) to monounsaturated fatty acids palmitoleate (16:1n7) and oleate (18:1n9), respectively. Given that reduced SCD1 activity is associated with improved insulin sensitivity and decreased body weight, there is considerable interest to elucidate the role of this enzyme in adipocytes. During adipogenesis, SCD1 levels increase concomitantly with the accumulation of triacylglycerol (TG); however, the extent to which reduced SCD1 activity can influence TG synthesis and metabolic pathways in differentiating adipocytes remains relatively unexplored. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to delineate how reduced SCD1 activity affects gene expression, protein content and cellular fatty acids in differentiating murine preadipocytes. METHODS: 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with an SCD1 inhibitor (10 nM) throughout differentiation. After 7 days, global gene expression, protein content and fatty acid profiles were examined using microarrays, western blotting and gas chromatography, respectively. RESULTS: SCD1 inhibition increased the abundance of 16:0 and 18:0 (45% and 194%, respectively) and decreased 16:1n7 and 18:1n7 (61% and 35%, respectively) in differentiated preadipocytes. Interestingly, 18:1n9 levels increased by 61%. The augmented 18:0 suggested a possible increase in elongase activity. Elongase 6 (Elovl6) gene expression was increased 2.8-fold (P = 0.04); however, changes were not detected for ELOVL6 protein content. Microarray analysis revealed that genes affecting TG synthesis were downregulated with SCD1 inhibition, which coincided with a 33% decrease in cellular TG content. CONCLUSION: These results provide new mechanistic insight into the role of SCD1 as a regulator of fatty acid profiles and TG synthesis in adipocytes, and reinforce that modulating SCD1 activity may help reduce the risk of obesity-related complications.
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