Liver Fatty Acid-binding Protein Gene Ablation Inhibits Branched-chain Fatty Acid Metabolism in Cultured Primary Hepatocytes* Academic Article uri icon


  • Whereas the role of liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) in the uptake, transport, mitochondrial oxidation, and esterification of normal straight-chain fatty acids has been studied extensively, almost nothing is known regarding the function of L-FABP in peroxisomal oxidation and metabolism of branched-chain fatty acids. Therefore, phytanic acid (most common dietary branched-chain fatty acid) was chosen to address these issues in cultured primary hepatocytes isolated from livers of L-FABP gene-ablated (-/-) and wild type (+/+) mice. These studies provided three new insights: First, L-FABP gene ablation reduced maximal, but not initial, uptake of phytanic acid 3.2-fold. Initial uptake of phytanic acid uptake was unaltered apparently due to concomitant 5.3-, 1.6-, and 1.4-fold up-regulation of plasma membrane fatty acid transporter/translocase proteins (glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, fatty acid transport protein, and fatty acid translocase, respectively). Second, L-FABP gene ablation inhibited phytanic acid peroxisomal oxidation and microsomal esterification. These effects were consistent with reduced cytoplasmic fatty acid transport as evidenced by multiphoton fluorescence photobleaching recovery, where L-FABP gene ablation reduced the cytoplasmic, but not membrane, diffusional component of NBD-stearic acid movement 2-fold. Third, lipid analysis of the L-FABP gene-ablated hepatocytes revealed an altered fatty acid phenotype. Free fatty acid and triglyceride levels were decreased 1.9- and 1.6-fold, respectively. In summary, results with cultured primary hepatocytes isolated from L-FABP (+/+) and L-FABP (-/-) mice demonstrated for the first time a physiological role of L-FABP in the uptake and metabolism of branched-chain fatty acids.

author list (cited authors)

  • Atshaves, B. P., McIntosh, A. M., Lyuksyutova, O. I., Zipfel, W., Webb, W. W., & Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 80

complete list of authors

  • Atshaves, Barbara P||McIntosh, Avery M||Lyuksyutova, Olga I||Zipfel, Warren||Webb, Watt W||Schroeder, Friedhelm

publication date

  • July 2004