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Mol Cell Biol. 2013 May;33(9):1869-82. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01548-12. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Acyl coenzyme A thioesterase 7 regulates neuronal fatty acid metabolism to prevent neurotoxicity.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Numerous neurological diseases are associated with dysregulated lipid metabolism; however, the basic metabolic control of fatty acid metabolism in neurons remains enigmatic. Here we have shown that neurons have abundant expression and activity of the long-chain cytoplasmic acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) thioesterase 7 (ACOT7) to regulate lipid retention and metabolism. Unbiased and targeted metabolomic analysis of fasted mice with a conditional knockout of ACOT7 in the nervous system, Acot7(N-/-), revealed increased fatty acid flux into multiple long-chain acyl-CoA-dependent pathways. The alterations in brain fatty acid metabolism were concomitant with a loss of lean mass, hypermetabolism, hepatic steatosis, dyslipidemia, and behavioral hyperexcitability in Acot7(N-/-) mice. These failures in adaptive energy metabolism are common in neurodegenerative diseases. In agreement, Acot7(N-/-) mice exhibit neurological dysfunction and neurodegeneration. These data show that ACOT7 counterregulates fatty acid metabolism in neurons and protects against neurotoxicity.

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