Acyl-CoA binding protein gene ablation induces pre-implantation embryonic lethality in mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Unique among the intracellular lipid binding proteins, acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP) exclusively binds long-chain fatty acyl-CoAs (LCFA-CoAs). To test if ACBP is an essential protein in mammals, the ACBP gene was ablated by homologous recombination in mice. While ACBP heterozygotes appeared phenotypically normal, intercrossing of the heterozygotes did not produce any live homozygous deficient (null) ACBP((-/-)) pups. Heterozygous and wild type embryos were detected at all post-implantation stages, but no homozygous ACBP-null embryos were obtained-suggesting that an embryonic lethality occurred at a pre-implantation stage of development, or that embryos never formed. While ACBP-null embryos were not detected at any blastocyst stage, ACBP-null embryos were detected at the morula (8-cell), cleavage (2-cell), and zygote (1-cell) pre-implantation stages. Two other LCFA-CoA binding proteins, sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) and sterol carrier protein-x (SCP-x) were significantly upregulated at these stages. These findings demonstrate for the first time that ACBP is an essential protein required for embryonic development and its loss of function may be initially compensated by concomitant upregulation of two other LCFA-CoA binding proteins, but only at the earliest pre-implantation stages. The fact that ACBP is the first known intracellular lipid binding protein whose deletion results in embryonic lethality suggests its vital importance in mammals.

published proceedings

  • Lipids

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Landrock, D., Atshaves, B. P., McIntosh, A. L., Landrock, K. K., Schroeder, F., & Kier, A. B.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Landrock, Danilo||Atshaves, Barbara P||McIntosh, Avery L||Landrock, Kerstin K||Schroeder, Friedhelm||Kier, Ann B

publication date

  • July 2010


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