Liver fatty acid-binding protein colocalizes with peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha and enhances ligand distribution to nuclei of living cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although it is hypothesized that long-chain fatty acyl CoAs (LCFA-CoAs) and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) regulate transcription in the nucleus, little is known regarding factors that determine the distribution of these ligands to nuclei of living cells. Immunofluorescence colocalization showed that liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP; binds LCFA-CoA as well as LCFA) significantly colocalized with PPARalpha in nuclei of transfected L-cell fibroblasts. Colocalization with a DNA binding dye (SYTO59) revealed that, within the nucleus of control L-cells, the nonhydrolyzable fluorescent LCFA-CoA (BODIPY-C16-S-S-CoA) was distributed primarily in a punctate pattern throughout the nucleoplasm, while nonmetabolizable fluorescent LCFAs (BODIPY-C16 and BODIPY-C12) were localized primarily near the nuclear envelope membranes. L-FABP overexpression selectively increased the targeting of BODIPY-C16-S-S-CoA by 1.9- and 2.7-fold into the nuclear membrane and nucleoplasm, respectively. L-FABP also increased the targeting of fluorescent LCFAs (especially long-chain-length BODIPY-C16) by 1.7-fold to the nuclear membrane and 7.4-fold into the nucleoplasm. A cis-parinaric acid displacement assay showed that L-FABP bound BODIPY-C12 and BODIPY-C16 with K(i)s of 10.1 +/- 2.5 and 20.7 +/- 1.5 nM, respectively, in the same range as naturally occurring LCFAs. Finally, solid-phase extraction and HPLC analysis revealed that, depending on the fatty acid content of the culture medium, L-FABP expression also increased the cellular LCFA-CoA pool size and altered the LCFA-CoA acyl chain composition. Thus, L-FABP may function as a carrier for selectively enhancing the distribution of LCFA-CoA, as well as LCFA, to nuclei for potential interaction with nuclear receptors.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, H., Starodub, O., McIntosh, A., Atshaves, B. P., Woldegiorgis, G., Kier, A. B., & Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 87

complete list of authors

  • Huang, Huan||Starodub, Olga||McIntosh, Avery||Atshaves, Barbara P||Woldegiorgis, Gebre||Kier, Ann B||Schroeder, Friedhelm

publication date

  • March 2004