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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2012;30(2):295-306. doi: 10.1159/000339065. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Downregulation of fetuin-B and zinc-α2-glycoprotein is linked to impaired fatty acid metabolism in liver cells.

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Department of Biotechnology, Daegu University, Kyungsan, Kyungbuk, Republic of Korea.



Our recent proteomic study has shown that plasma protein levels of fetuin-B (Ft-B) and zinc-α2-glycoprotein (ZAG) are significantly elevated in obesity-resistant (OR) rats exposed to a high fat diet. Time profiling of the plasma concentrations of Ft-B and ZAG in OR rats has shown stable regulation of these proteins throughout the entire period of rat breeding.


To firmly establish roles for these proteins in lipogenesis, we efficiently knocked down (KD) the genes FETUB and AZGP1 encoding Ft-B and ZAG, respectively, using siRNA in Chang liver cells.


Reduced expression of FETUB and AZGP1 led to a significant increase in the expression of lipogenic genes, thereby resulting in higher lipid levels in both KD cells. Collectively with our previous findings, we confirmed that Ft-B was similarly regulated with Ft-A, in that their plasma protein levels were commonly reduced in diet-induced obese rats.


Our results provide a possible relationship between reduced plasma protein levels of Ft-B and ZAG and higher risk of diet-induced obesity through impaired fatty acid metabolism in hepatocytes.

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