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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Dec;1791(12):1190-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.08.008. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids suppress insulin-induced SREBP-1c transcription via reduced trans-activating capacity of LXRalpha.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.


Insulin coordinately up-regulates lipogenic gene transcription via induction of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c). Conversely, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) decrease lipogenic gene transcription via suppression of SREBP-1c. We therefore examined the ability of n-3 PUFA to mitigate induction of SREBP-1c and its downstream lipogenic targets by insulin in primary rat hepatocyte cultures. Insulin induced expression of SREBP-1c mRNA 5-6 fold as well as rat SREBP-1c promoter activity. These effects were prevented by the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 n-3; EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 n-3, DHA), but not by the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (18:1 n-6, OLA). N-3 fatty acids also effectively prevented insulin induction of the downstream lipogenic enzyme targets fatty acid synthase (FAS) and acetyl carboxyl coenzyme acetyltransferase-1 (ACC-1), and reduced de novo lipogenesis. The SREBP-1c promoter contains an insulin response unit consisting of tandem LXRalpha response elements (LXREs) as well as sites for NF-Y, Sp1, and SREBP-1c itself. The LXREs were identified as a primary site mediating suppression of SREBP-1c transcription by n-3 PUFA. DHA effectively prevented LXRalpha-dependent activation of both the wild type SREBP-1c promoter and the synthetic LXRE-driven promoter, and significantly blunted LXRalpha-dependent activation of a Gal4-LXRalpha chimeric protein thus demonstrating that n-3 PUFA effectively mitigate induction of SREBP-1c by insulin via reduced trans-activation of LXRalpha.

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