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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Dec 9;266(1):1-4.

Regulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase genes: role in cellular metabolism and preadipocyte differentiation.

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Department of Biochemistry, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53706, USA.


The degree of fatty acid unsaturation in cell membrane lipids determines membrane fluidity, whose alteration has been implicated in a variety of disease states including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cancer, and neurological and heart diseases. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) is a key rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids by insertion of a cis-double bond in the Delta9 position of fatty acid substrates. Palmitate and stearate are the preferred substrates, which are converted to palmitoleate and oleate, respectively. These monounsaturated fatty acids are the major constituents of cellular membrane phospholipids and triacylglycerol stores found in adipose tissue. Two mouse and rat SCD genes (SCD1 and SCD2) have been cloned and characterized. During the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes into adipocytes, SCD1 and SCD2 mRNAs are induced concomitant with increased de novo synthesis of palmitoleate and oleate. The physiological significance of expressing the two isoforms in the adipocytes is currently unknown. In this review we discuss the role of the SCD isoforms in metabolism and the recent findings on the differential regulation of mouse SCD genes by the antidiabetic thiazolidinediones (TZDs), during preadipocyte differentiation.

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