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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 May;1821(5):747-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2011.09.017. Epub 2011 Oct 8.

Fatty acid synthase and liver triglyceride metabolism: housekeeper or messenger?

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Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA


Fatty acid synthase (FAS) catalyzes the de novo synthesis of fatty acids. In the liver, FAS has long been categorized as a housekeeping protein, producing fat for storage of energy when nutrients are present in excess. Most previous studies of FAS regulation have focused on the control of gene expression. However, recent findings suggest that hepatic FAS may also be involved in signaling processes that include activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). Moreover, reports of rapid alterations in FAS activity as well as findings of post-translational modifications of the FAS protein support the notion that dynamic events in addition to transcription impact FAS regulation. These results indicate that FAS enzyme activity can impact liver physiology through signaling as well as energy storage and that its regulation may be complex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Triglyceride Metabolism and Disease.

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