Hepatic farnesyl diphosphate synthase expression is suppressed by polyunsaturated fatty acids.Biochem J. 2005 Feb 01; 385(Pt 3):787-94.BJ
Dietary vegetable oils and fish oils rich in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) exert hypocholesterolaemic and hypotriglyceridaemic effects in rodents. The plasma cholesterol-lowering properties of PUFA are due partly to a diminution of cholesterol synthesis and of the activity of the rate-limiting enzyme HMG-CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase). To better understand the mechanisms involved, we examined how tuna fish oil and individual n-3 and n-6 PUFA affect the expression of hepatic FPP synthase (farnesyl diphosphate synthase), a SREBP (sterol regulatory element-binding protein) target enzyme that is subject to negative-feedback regulation by sterols, in co-ordination with HMG-CoA reductase. Feeding mice on a tuna fish oil diet for 2 weeks decreased serum cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels, by 50% and 60% respectively. Hepatic levels of FPP synthase and HMG-CoA reductase mRNAs were also decreased, by 70% and 40% respectively. Individual n-3 and n-6 PUFA lowered FPP synthase and HMG-CoA reductase mRNA levels in H4IIEC3 rat hepatoma cells to a greater extent than did stearate and oleate, with the largest inhibitory effects occurring with arachidonate, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). We observed a similar inhibitory effect on protein levels of FPP synthase. The suppressive effect of PUFA on the FPP synthase mRNA level was not due to a decrease in mRNA stability, but to transcription inhibition. Moreover, a lower nuclear availability of both SREBP-1 and SREBP-2 mature forms was observed in HepG2 human hepatoblastoma cells treated with arachidonate, EPA or DHA. Taken together, these data suggest that PUFA can down-regulate hepatic cholesterol synthesis through inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase and FPP synthase, at least in part through impairment of the SREBP pathway.