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J Lipid Res. 2013 Jan;54(1):71-84. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M028787. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Elovl5 regulates the mTORC2-Akt-FOXO1 pathway by controlling hepatic cis-vaccenic acid synthesis in diet-induced obese mice.

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Nutrition Program, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.


Elevated hepatic expression of fatty acid elongase-5 (Elovl5) induces FoxO1 phosphorylation, lowers FoxO1 nuclear content, and suppresses expression of genes involved in gluconeogenesis (GNG). In this report, we define the molecular and metabolic basis of Elovl5 control of FoxO1 phosphorylation. Adenoviral-mediated (Ad-Elovl5) induction of hepatic Elovl5 in diet-induced obese, glucose-intolerant mice and HepG2 cells increased the phosphorylation of Akt2-S(473) [mammalian target of rapamycin complex-2 (mTORC2) site], but not Akt2-T(308) (PDK1 site). The Akt2 inhibitor Akti1/2 blocked Elovl5 induction of FoxO1-S(256) phosphorylation in HepG2 cells. Elevated Elovl5 activity in liver and HepG2 cells induced rictor mRNA, rictor protein, and rictor-mTOR interaction, whereas rictor knockdown (siRNA) attenuated Elovl5 induction of Akt2-S(473) and FoxO1-S(256) phosphorylation in HepG2 cells. FA analysis revealed that the abundance of cis-vaccenic acid (18:1,n-7) was increased in livers of obese mice and HepG2 cells following Ad-Elovl5 infection. Treating HepG2 cells with Elovl5 substrates established that palmitoleic acid (16:1,n-7), but not γ-linolenic acid (18:3,n-6), induced rictor protein, Akt-S(473), and FoxO1-S(256) phosphorylation. Inhibition of FA elongation blocked 16:1,n-7 but not 18:1,n-7 induction of rictor protein and Akt-S(473) and FoxO1-S(256) phosphorylation. These results establish a novel link between Elovl5-mediated synthesis of 18:1,n-7 and GNG through the control of the mTORC2-Akt-FoxO1 pathway.

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