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J Biol Chem. 2013 Oct 18;288(42):30330-44. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.501676. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Direct comparison of mice null for liver or intestinal fatty acid-binding proteins reveals highly divergent phenotypic responses to high fat feeding.

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From the Department of Nutritional Sciences and.


The enterocyte expresses two fatty acid-binding proteins (FABP), intestinal FABP (IFABP; FABP2) and liver FABP (LFABP; FABP1). LFABP is also expressed in liver. Despite ligand transport and binding differences, it has remained uncertain whether these intestinally coexpressed proteins, which both bind long chain fatty acids (FA), are functionally distinct. Here, we directly compared IFABP(-/-) and LFABP(-/-) mice fed high fat diets containing long chain saturated or unsaturated fatty acids, reasoning that providing an abundance of dietary lipid would reveal unique functional properties. The results showed that mucosal lipid metabolism was indeed differentially modified, with significant decreases in FA incorporation into triacylglycerol (TG) relative to phospholipid (PL) in IFABP(-/-) mice, whereas LFABP(-/-) mice had reduced monoacylglycerol incorporation in TG relative to PL, as well as reduced FA oxidation. Interestingly, striking differences were found in whole body energy homeostasis; LFABP(-/-) mice fed high fat diets became obese relative to WT, whereas IFABP(-/-) mice displayed an opposite, lean phenotype. Fuel utilization followed adiposity, with LFABP(-/-) mice preferentially utilizing lipids, and IFABP(-/-) mice preferentially metabolizing carbohydrate for energy production. Changes in body weight and fat may arise, in part, from altered food intake; mucosal levels of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol and arachidonoylethanolamine were elevated in LFABP(-/-), perhaps contributing to increased energy intake. This direct comparison provides evidence that LFABP and IFABP have distinct roles in intestinal lipid metabolism; differential intracellular functions in intestine and in liver, for LFABP(-/-) mice, result in divergent downstream effects at the systemic level.


Fatty Acid; Fatty Acid-binding Protein; Intestine; Lipid Metabolism; Monoacylglycerol

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