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J Biol Chem. 2006 Dec 8;281(49):37372-80. Epub 2006 Oct 9.

Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent modulation of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A expression regulates lipid metabolism during hematopoietic cell growth.

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Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Department of Cancer Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


An abundant supply of extracellular nutrients is believed to be sufficient to suppress catabolism of cellular macromolecules. Here we show that, despite abundant extracellular nutrients, interleukin-3-deprived hematopoietic cells begin to catabolize intracellular lipids. Constitutive Akt activation blunts the increased beta-oxidation that accompanies growth factor withdrawal, and in growth factor-replete cells, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling is required to suppress lipid catabolism. Surprisingly, PI3K and Akt exert these effects by suppressing expression of the beta-oxidation enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A). Cells expressing a short hairpin RNA against CPT1A fail to induce beta-oxidation in response to growth factor withdrawal and are unable to survive glucose deprivation. When CPT1A is constitutively expressed, growth factor stimulation fails to repress beta-oxidation. As a result, both net lipid synthesis and cell proliferation are diminished. Together, these results demonstrate that modulation of CPT1A expression by PI3K-dependent signaling is the major mechanism by which cells suppress beta-oxidation during anabolic growth.

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