Branched-chain fatty acids as mediators of the activation of hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha by a fungal lipid extract
The study aimed to test the hypothesis that monomethyl branched-chain fatty acids (BCFAs) and a lipid extract of Conidiobolus heterosporus (CHLE), rich in monomethyl BCFAs, are able to activate the nuclear transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha). Rat Fao cells were incubated with the monomethyl BCFAs 12-methyltridecanoic acid (MTriA), 12-methyltetradecanoic acid (MTA), isopalmitic acid (IPA) and 14-methylhexadecanoic acid (MHD), and the direct activation of PPARalpha was evaluated by reporter gene assay using a PPARalpha responsive reporter gene. Furthermore, Fao cells were incubated with different concentrations of the CHLE and PPARalpha activation was also evaluated by using the reporter gene assay, and by determining the mRNA concentrations of selected PPARalpha target genes by real-time RT-PCR. The reporter gene assay revealed that IPA and the CHLE, but not MTriA, MHD and MTA, activate the PPARalpha responsive reporter gene. CHLE dose-dependently increased mRNA concentrations of the PPARalpha target genes acyl-CoA oxidase (ACOX1), cytochrome P450 4A1 (CYP4A1), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A) and solute carrier family 22 (organic cation/carnitine transporter), member 5 (SLC22A5). In conclusion, the monomethyl BCFA IPA is a potent PPARalpha activator. CHLE activates PPARalpha-dependent gene expression in Fao cells, an effect that is possibly mediated by IPA.