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1.  Genetic parameters for milk fatty acids in Danish Holstein cattle based on SNP markers using a Bayesian approach 
BMC Genetics  2013;14:79.
For several years, in human nutrition there has been a focus on the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) and saturated fatty acids (SFA) found in bovine milk. The positive health-related properties of UFA versus SFA have increased the demand for food products with a higher proportion of UFA. To be able to change the UFA and SFA content of the milk by breeding it is important to know whether there is a genetic component underlying the individual FA in the milk. We have estimated the heritability for individual FA in the milk of Danish Holstein. For this purpose we used information of SNP markers instead of the traditional pedigree relationships.
Estimates of heritability were moderate within the range of 0.10 for C18:1 trans-11 to 0.34 for C8:0 and C10:0, whereas the estimates for saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids were 0.14 and 0.18, respectively. Posterior standard deviations were in the range from 0.07 to 0.17. The correlation estimates showed a general pattern of two groups, one group mainly consisting of saturated fatty acids and one group mainly consisting of unsaturated fatty acids. The phenotypic correlation ranged from −0.95 (saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids) to 0.99 (unsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids) and the genomic correlation for fatty acids ranged from −0.29 to 0.91.
The heritability estimates obtained in this study are in general accordance with heritability estimates from studies using pedigree data and/or a genomic relationship matrix in the context of a REML approach. SFA and UFA expressed a strong negative phenotypic correlation and a weaker genetic correlation. This is in accordance with the theory that SFA is synthesized de novo, while UFA can be regulated independently from the regulation of SFA by the feeding regime.
PMCID: PMC3854798  PMID: 24024882
Genomic heritability; Genomic correlation; Bayesian mixed model; Milk fatty acids
2.  Limited Effect of Dietary Saturated Fat on Plasma Saturated Fat in the Context of a Low Carbohydrate Diet 
Lipids  2010;45(10):947-962.
We recently showed that a hypocaloric carbohydrate restricted diet (CRD) had two striking effects: (1) a reduction in plasma saturated fatty acids (SFA) despite higher intake than a low fat diet, and (2) a decrease in inflammation despite a significant increase in arachidonic acid (ARA). Here we extend these findings in 8 weight stable men who were fed two 6-week CRD (12%en carbohydrate) varying in quality of fat. One CRD emphasized SFA (CRD-SFA, 86 g/d SFA) and the other, unsaturated fat (CRD-UFA, 47 g SFA/d). All foods were provided to subjects. Both CRD decreased serum triacylglycerol (TAG) and insulin, and increased LDL-C particle size. The CRD-UFA significantly decreased plasma TAG SFA (27.48 ± 2.89 mol%) compared to baseline (31.06 ± 4.26 mol%). Plasma TAG SFA, however, remained unchanged in the CRD-SFA (33.14 ± 3.49 mol%) despite a doubling in SFA intake. Both CRD significantly reduced plasma palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7) indicating decreased de novo lipogenesis. CRD-SFA significantly increased plasma phospholipid ARA content, while CRD-UFA significantly increased EPA and DHA. Urine 8-iso PGF2α, a free radical-catalyzed product of ARA, was significantly lower than baseline following CRD-UFA (−32%). There was a significant inverse correlation between changes in urine 8-iso PGF2α and PL ARA on both CRD (r = −0.82 CRD-SFA; r = −0.62 CRD-UFA). These findings are consistent with the concept that dietary saturated fat is efficiently metabolized in the presence of low carbohydrate, and that a CRD results in better preservation of plasma ARA.
PMCID: PMC2974193  PMID: 20820932
Saturated fat; Palmitic acid; Palmitoleic acid; Plasma fatty acid composition; Ketogenic diet; Omega-3 eggs; Metabolic syndrome; Insulin sensitivity; Controlled human feeding study; EPA; DHA; LDL/HDL ratio
3.  Isolation and Characterization of Unsaturated Fatty Acid Auxotrophs of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(22):8139-8144.
Unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) biosynthesis is essential for the maintenance of membrane structure and function in many groups of anaerobic bacteria. Like Escherichia coli, the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae produces straight-chain saturated fatty acids (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids. In E. coli UFA synthesis requires the action of two gene products, the essential isomerase/dehydratase encoded by fabA and an elongation condensing enzyme encoded by fabB. S. pneumoniae lacks both genes and instead employs a single enzyme with only an isomerase function encoded by the fabM gene. In this paper we report the construction and characterization of an S. pneumoniae 708 fabM mutant. This mutant failed to grow in complex medium, and the defect was overcome by addition of UFAs to the growth medium. S. pneumoniae fabM mutants did not produce detectable levels of monounsaturated fatty acids as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and thin-layer chromatography analysis of the radiolabeled phospholipids. We also demonstrate that a fabM null mutant of the cariogenic organism Streptococcus mutants is a UFA auxotroph, indicating that FabM is the only enzyme involved in the control of membrane fluidity in streptococci. Finally we report that the fabN gene of Enterococcus faecalis, coding for a dehydratase/isomerase, complements the growth of S. pneumoniae fabM mutants. Taken together, these results suggest that FabM is a potential target for chemotherapeutic agents against streptococci and that S. pneumoniae UFA auxotrophs could help identify novel genes encoding enzymes involved in UFA biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC2168684  PMID: 17827283
4.  A Bacillus subtilis Gene Induced by Cold Shock Encodes a Membrane Phospholipid Desaturase 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(8):2194-2200.
Bacillus subtilis grown at 37°C synthesizes saturated fatty acids with only traces of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs). However, when cultures growing at 37°C are transferred to 20°C, UFA synthesis is induced. We report the identification and characterization of the gene encoding the fatty acid desaturase of B. subtilis. This gene, called des, was isolated by complementation of Escherichia coli strains with mutations in either of two different genes of UFA synthesis. The des gene encodes a polypeptide of 352 amino acid residues containing the three conserved histidine cluster motifs and two putative membrane-spanning domains characteristic of the membrane-bound desaturases of plants and cyanobacteria. Expression of the des gene in E. coli resulted in desaturation of palmitic acid moieties of the membrane phospholipids to give the novel mono-UFA cis-5-hexadecenoic acid, indicating that the B. subtilis des gene product is a Δ5 acyl-lipid desaturase. The des gene was disrupted, and the resulting null mutant strains were unable to synthesize UFAs upon a shift to low growth temperatures. The des null mutant strain grew as well as its congenic parent at 20 or 37°C but showed severely reduced survival during stationary phase. Analysis of operon fusions in which the des promoter directed the synthesis of a lacZ reporter gene showed that des expression is repressed at 37°C, but a shift of cultures from 37 to 20°C resulted in a 10- to 15-fold increase in transcription. This is the first report of a membrane phospholipid desaturase in a nonphotosynthetic organism and the first direct evidence for cold induction of a desaturase.
PMCID: PMC107148  PMID: 9555904
5.  Dietary unsaturated fatty acids affect the mammary gland integrity and health in lactating dairy cows 
BMC Proceedings  2011;5(Suppl 4):S35.
Information about the effects of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) supplementation on the health and integrity of the mammary gland in lactating dairy cows is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of unprotected dietary UFA on the global expression pattern of genes in the mammary gland tissue of grazing dairy cows, and to translate this information into relevant biological knowledge.
Twenty-eight Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to 4 different concentrated UFA-sources for 23 days after which all cows were switched to a non-UFA-supplemented concentrate for an additional 28 days. On the last day of both periods, mammary gland biopsies were taken to study genome-wide differences in gene expression on Bovine Genome Arrays.
Supplementation with UFA reduced the concentration of short chain fatty acids (FA), C16 FA and saturated FA in the milk, whereas that of trans-FA increased. One major finding was that canonical pathways associated with remodelling and immune functions of the mammary gland were predominantly down-regulated during UFA supplementation and negatively correlated with the concentration of milk trans-FA.
Supplementing grazing dairy cows with unprotected dietary UFA can affect the remodelling and immune functions of the mammary gland with potential consequences for its integrity and health, as well as milk quality.
PMCID: PMC3108231  PMID: 21645316
6.  Ethanol Tolerance in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Is Dependent on Cellular Oleic Acid Content 
In this investigation, we examined the effects of different unsaturated fatty acid compositions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on the growth-inhibiting effects of ethanol. The unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) composition of S. cerevisiae is relatively simple, consisting almost exclusively of the mono-UFAs palmitoleic acid (Δ9Z-C16:1) and oleic acid (Δ9Z-C18:1), with the former predominating. Both UFAs are formed in S. cerevisiae by the oxygen- and NADH-dependent desaturation of palmitic acid (C16:0) and stearic acid (C18:0), respectively, catalyzed by a single integral membrane desaturase encoded by the OLE1 gene. We systematically altered the UFA composition of yeast cells in a uniform genetic background (i) by genetic complementation of a desaturase-deficient ole1 knockout strain with cDNA expression constructs encoding insect desaturases with distinct regioselectivities (i.e., Δ9 and Δ11) and substrate chain-length preferences (i.e., C16:0 and C18:0); and, (ii) by supplementation of the same strain with synthetic mono-UFAs. Both experimental approaches demonstrated that oleic acid is the most efficacious UFA in overcoming the toxic effects of ethanol in growing yeast cells. Furthermore, the only other UFA tested that conferred a nominal degree of ethanol tolerance is cis-vaccenic acid (Δ11Z-C18:1), whereas neither Δ11Z-C16:1 nor palmitoleic acid (Δ9Z-C16:1) conferred any ethanol tolerance. We also showed that the most ethanol-tolerant transformant, which expresses the insect desaturase TniNPVE, produces twice as much oleic acid as palmitoleic acid in the absence of ethanol and undergoes a fourfold increase in the ratio of oleic acid to palmitoleic acid in response to exposure to 5% ethanol. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ethanol tolerance in yeast results from incorporation of oleic acid into lipid membranes, effecting a compensatory decrease in membrane fluidity that counteracts the fluidizing effects of ethanol.
PMCID: PMC150070  PMID: 12620835
7.  The Stearoyl-Coenzyme A Desaturase 1 Is Essential for Virulence and Membrane Stress in Candida parapsilosis through Unsaturated Fatty Acid Production ▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;79(1):136-145.
Unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) are essential components of cells. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, stearoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) desaturase 1 (OLE1) affects cell viability through the regulation of oleic (18:1) or palmitoleic (16:1) acid production. In this study, we used a targeted gene deletion approach to determine the impact of OLE1 on the emerging human pathogenic fungus Candida parapsilosis. We found that the deletion of OLE1 resulted in an auxotrophic yeast strain (designated OLE1 KO) that required unsaturated fatty acids for growth but not saturated fatty acids. Additionally, the production of UFA by OLE1 KO yeast cells was markedly reduced, suggesting that Ole1 is essential for UFA production. In contrast to wild-type C. parapsilosis, which produced pseudohyphal growth on UFA-supplemented medium agar, pseudohyphal formation in the OLE1 KO cells was severely impaired, suggesting that Ole1 regulates morphology. Furthermore, the OLE1 KO cells were hypersensitive to various stress-inducing factors, such as salts, SDS, and H2O2, especially at the physiological temperature. The results indicate that OLE1 is essential for the stress response, perhaps through the production of UFA for cell membrane biosynthesis. The OLE1 KO cells also were hypersensitive to human and fetal bovine serum, suggesting that targeting Ole1 could suppress the dissemination of yeast cells in the bloodstream. Murine-like macrophage J774.16 more efficiently killed the OLE1 KO yeasts, and significantly larger amounts of nitric oxide were detected in cocultures of macrophages and OLE1 KO cells than with wild-type or heterozygous strains. Moreover, the disruption of OLE1 significantly reduced fungal virulence in systemic murine infection. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Ole1 regulates the pathobiology of C. parapsilosis via UFA and that the OLE1 pathway is a promising antifungal target.
PMCID: PMC3019882  PMID: 20974817
8.  The inhibitory effect of cerulenin to yeasts is fungicidal 
Fatty acid biosynthesis plays a significant role in the growth and survival of diverse organisms. In yeasts, the de novo fatty acid synthesis (FAS) pathway produces and regulates essential fatty acid species such as saturated (SFA) and unsaturated (UFA) fatty acids that are required for generation and maintenance of cell membranes. Inhibition of enzymes in this pathway, such as fatty acid synthase and fatty acid desaturase, impede yeast cell growth unless appropriate exogenous fatty acids are provided.1,2 Although, the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway is essential to yeast cells, exploration of this pathway for combating fungal infections has been largely neglected. We and others have shown that deletion of a fatty acid synthase dramatically attenuates the virulence of the yeast Candida parapsilosis 2 and Candida albicans.1 Significantly, our data has revealed that inhibition of FAS enzymes results in the hypersensitivity of the yeast to serum, indicating that targeting this pathway is potentially an ideal way to combat systemic yeast infections.2 We demonstrated that using the minimal inhibitory concentration of cerulenin, a fatty acid synthase inhibitor, we could kill the wild type yeast cells in serum.2 Thus, the inhibitory effect of cerulenin (ie. blockade of the FAS pathway) on the yeast cells is fungicidal.
PMCID: PMC3306321  PMID: 22448300
9.  Identification of a conserved protein involved in anaerobic unsaturated fatty acid synthesis in Neiserria gonorrhoeae: implications for facultative and obligate anaerobes that lack FabA 
Molecular microbiology  2011;82(2):489-501.
Transcriptome analysis of the facultative anaerobe, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, revealed that many genes of unknown function were induced under anaerobic conditions. Mutation of one such gene, NGO1024, encoding a protein belonging to the 2-nitropropane dioxygenase-like superfamiliy of proteins, was found to result in an inability of gonococci to grow anaerobically. Anaerobic growth of an NG1024 mutant was restored upon supplementation with unsaturated fatty acids (UFA), but not with the saturated fatty acid palmitate. Gonococcal fatty acid profiles confirmed that NGO1024 was involved in UFA synthesis anaerobically, but not aerobically, demonstrating that gonococci contain two distinct pathways for the production of UFAs, with a yet unidentified aerobic mechanism, and an anaerobic mechanism involving NGO1024. Expression of genes involved in classical anaerobic UFA synthesis, fabA, fabM, and fabB, was toxic in gonococci and unable to complement a NGO1024 mutation, suggesting that the chemistry involved in gonococcal anaerobic UFA synthesis is distinct from that of the classical pathway. NGO1024 homologs, which we suggest naming UfaA, form a distinct lineage within the 2-nitropropane dioxygenase-like superfamily, and are found in many facultative and obligate anaerobes that produce UFAs but lack fabA, suggesting that UfaA is part of a widespread pathway involved in UFA synthesis.
PMCID: PMC3192263  PMID: 21895795
UFA; ufaA; nitropropane dioxygenase; anaerobiosis; COG2070
10.  Membrane Synthesis, Specific Lipid Requirements, and Localized Lipid Composition Changes Associated with a Positive-Strand RNA Virus RNA Replication Protein 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(23):12819-12828.
Multifunctional RNA replication protein 1a of brome mosaic virus (BMV), a positive-strand RNA virus, localizes to the cytoplasmic face of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes and induces ER lumenal spherules in which viral RNA synthesis occurs. We previously showed that BMV RNA replication in yeast is severely inhibited prior to negative-strand RNA synthesis by a single-amino-acid substitution in the ole1w allele of yeast Δ9 fatty acid (FA) desaturase, which converts saturated FAs (SFAs) to unsaturated FAs (UFAs). Here we further define the relationships between 1a, membrane lipid composition, and RNA synthesis. We show that 1a expression increases total membrane lipids in wild-type (wt) yeast by 25 to 33%, consistent with recent results indicating that the numerous 1a-induced spherules are enveloped by invaginations of the outer ER membrane. 1a did not alter total membrane lipid composition in wt or ole1w yeast, but the ole1w mutation selectively depleted 18-carbon, monounsaturated (18:1) FA chains and increased 16:0 SFA chains, reducing the UFA-to-SFA ratio from ∼2.5 to ∼1.5. Thus, ole1w inhibition of RNA replication was correlated with decreased levels of UFA, membrane fluidity, and plasticity. The ole1w mutation did not alter 1a-induced membrane synthesis, 1a localization to the perinuclear ER, or colocalization of BMV 2a polymerase, nor did it block spherule formation. Moreover, BMV RNA replication templates were still recovered from cell lysates in a 1a-induced, 1a- and membrane-associated, and nuclease-resistant but detergent-susceptible state consistent with spherules. However, unlike nearby ER membranes, the membranes surrounding spherules in ole1w cells were not distinctively stained with osmium tetroxide, which interacts specifically with UFA double bonds. Thus, in ole1w cells, spherule-associated membranes were locally depleted in UFAs. This localized UFA depletion helps to explain why BMV RNA replication is more sensitive than cell growth to reduced UFA levels. The results imply that 1a preferentially interacts with one or more types of membrane lipids.
PMCID: PMC262592  PMID: 14610203
11.  Mga2p Processing by Hypoxia and Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Impact on LORE-Dependent Gene Expression 
Eukaryotic Cell  2002;1(3):481-490.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, OLE1 encodes a Δ9 fatty acid desaturase, an enzyme that plays a critical role in maintaining the correct ratio of saturated to monounsaturated fatty acids in the cell membrane. Previous studies have demonstrated that (i) OLE1 expression is repressed by unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) and induced by low oxygen tension, (ii) a component of this regulation is mediated through the same low oxygen response element (LORE) in the OLE1 promoter, and (iii) Mga2p is involved in LORE-dependent hypoxic induction of OLE1. We now report that LORE-CYC1 basal promoter-lacZ fusion reporter assays demonstrate that UFAs repress the reporter expression under hypoxic conditions in a dose-dependent manner via LORE. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that UFAs repress the hypoxia-induced complex formation with LORE. Studies with a construct encoding a truncated form of Mga2p support the hypothesis that both hypoxia and UFA signals affect the processing of Mga2p and the UFA repression of OLE1 hypoxic induction is mediated through Mga2p. Data from Western blot assays provide evidence that under normoxic conditions, Mga2p processing produces approximately equimolar levels of the membrane-bound and processed forms and is unaffected by UFAs. Hypoxic induction of OLE1, however, is associated with increased processing of the protein, resulting in an approximately fivefold increase in the soluble active form that is counteracted by exposure of the cells to unsaturated fatty acids. Data from this study suggest that the Mga2p-LORE interaction plays an important role in OLE1 expression under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions.
PMCID: PMC118009  PMID: 12455996
12.  Increased unsaturation of lipids in cytoplasmic lipid droplets in DAOY cancer cells in response to cisplatin treatment 
Metabolomics  2012;9(3):722-729.
Increases in 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) visible lipids are a well-documented sign of treatment response in cancers. Lipids in cytoplasmic lipid droplets (LDs) are the main contributors to the NMR lipid signals. Two human primitive neuroectodermal tumour cell lines with different sensitivities to cisplatin treatment were studied. Increases in NMR visible saturated and unsaturated lipids in cisplatin treated DAOY cells were associated with the accumulation of LDs prior to DNA fragmentation due to apoptosis. An increase in unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) was detected in isolated LDs from DAOY cells, in contrast to a slight decrease in UFAs in lipid extracts from whole cells. Oleic acid and linoleic acid were identified as the accumulating UFAs in LDs by heteronuclear single quantum coherence spectroscopy (HSQC). 1H NMR lipids in non-responding PFSK-1 cells were unchanged by exposure to 10 μM cisplatin. These findings support the potential of NMR detectable UFAs to serve as a non-invasive marker of tumour cell response to treatment.
PMCID: PMC3651531  PMID: 23678346
Lipid droplets; 1H NMR; Isolation; Cisplatin
13.  Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Prevent the Aversive Effects of Obesity on Locomotion, Brain Activity, and Sleep Behavior 
Diabetes  2012;61(7):1669-1679.
Fat and physical inactivity are the most evident factors in the pathogenesis of obesity, and fat quality seems to play a crucial role for measures of glucose homeostasis. However, the impact of dietary fat quality on brain function, behavior, and sleep is basically unknown. In this study, mice were fed a diet supplemented with either monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and their impact on glucose homeostasis, locomotion, brain activity, and sleep behavior was evaluated. MUFAs and SFAs led to a significant increase in fat mass but only feeding of SFAs was accompanied by glucose intolerance in mice. Radiotelemetry revealed a significant decrease in cortical activity in SFA-mice whereas MUFAs even improved activity. SFAs decreased wakefulness and increased non–rapid eye movement sleep. An intracerebroventricular application of insulin promoted locomotor activity in MUFA-fed mice, whereas SFA-mice were resistant. In humans, SFA-enriched diet led to a decrease in hippocampal and cortical activity determined by functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques. Together, dietary intake of MUFAs promoted insulin action in the brain with its beneficial effects for cortical activity, locomotion, and sleep, whereas a comparable intake of SFAs acted as a negative modulator of brain activity in mice and humans.
PMCID: PMC3379681  PMID: 22492529
14.  Transient and Permanent Experience with Fatty Acids Changes Drosophila melanogaster Preference and Fitness 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92352.
Food and host-preference relies on genetic adaptation and sensory experience. In vertebrates, experience with food-related cues during early development can change adult preference. This is also true in holometabolous insects, which undergo a drastic nervous system remodelling during their complete metamorphosis, but remains uncertain in Drosophila melanogaster. We have conditioned D. melanogaster with oleic (C18∶1) and stearic (C18∶0) acids, two common dietary fatty acids, respectively preferred by larvae and adult. Wild-type individuals exposed either during a transient period of development–from embryo to adult–or more permanently–during one to ten generation cycles–were affected by such conditioning. In particular, the oviposition preference of females exposed to each fatty acid during larval development was affected without cross-effect indicating the specificity of each substance. Permanent exposure to each fatty acid also drastically changed oviposition preference as well as major fitness traits (development duration, sex-ratio, fecundity, adult lethality). This suggests that D. melanogaster ability to adapt to new food sources is determined by its genetic and sensory plasticity both of which may explain the success of this generalist-diet species.
PMCID: PMC3965419  PMID: 24667657
15.  Role for fadR in unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1983;154(2):554-560.
Escherichia coli K-12 mutants constitutive for the synthesis of the enzymes of fatty acid degradation (fad) synthesize significantly less unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) than do wild-type (fadR+) strains. The constitutive fadR mutants synthesize less UFA than do fadR+) strains both in vivo and in vitro. The inability of fadR strains to synthesize UFAs at rates comparable to those of fadR+ strains is phenotypically asymptomatic unless the fadR strain also carries a lesion in fabA, the structural gene for beta-hydroxydecanoyl-thioester dehydrase. Unlike fadR+ fabA(Ts) mutants, fadR fabA(Ts) strains synthesize insufficient UFA to support their growth even at low temperatures and, therefore, must be supplemented with UFA at both low and high temperatures. The low levels of UFA in fadR strains are not due to the constitutive level of fatty acid-degrading enzymes in these strains. These results suggest that a functional fadR gene is required for the maximal expression of UFA biosynthesis in E. coli.
PMCID: PMC217500  PMID: 6341354
16.  Cyclopropane ring formation in membrane lipids of bacteria. 
It has been known for several decades that cyclopropane fatty acids (CFAs) occur in the phospholipids of many species of bacteria. CFAs are formed by the addition of a methylene group, derived from the methyl group of S-adenosylmethionine, across the carbon-carbon double bond of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs). The C1 transfer does not involve free fatty acids or intermediates of phospholipid biosynthesis but, rather, mature phospholipid molecules already incorporated into membrane bilayers. Furthermore, CFAs are typically produced at the onset of the stationary phase in bacterial cultures. CFA formation can thus be considered a conditional, postsynthetic modification of bacterial membrane lipid bilayers. This modification is noteworthy in several respects. It is catalyzed by a soluble enzyme, although one of the substrates, the UFA double bond, is normally sequestered deep within the hydrophobic interior of the phospholipid bilayer. The enzyme, CFA synthase, discriminates between phospholipid vesicles containing only saturated fatty acids and those containing UFAs; it exhibits no affinity for vesicles of the former composition. These and other properties imply that topologically novel protein-lipid interactions occur in the biosynthesis of CFAs. The timing and extent of the UFA-to-CFA conversion in batch cultures and the widespread distribution of CFA synthesis among bacteria would seem to suggest an important physiological role for this phenomenon, yet its rationale remains unclear despite experimental tests of a variety of hypotheses. Manipulation of the CFA synthase of Escherichia coli by genetic methods has nevertheless provided valuable insight into the physiology of CFA formation. It has identified the CFA synthase gene as one of several rpoS-regulated genes of E. coli and has provided for the construction of strains in which proposed cellular functions of CFAs can be properly evaluated. Cloning and manipulation of the CFA synthase structural gene have also enabled this novel but extremely unstable enzyme to be purified and analyzed in molecular terms and have led to the identification of mechanistically related enzymes in clinically important bacterial pathogens.
PMCID: PMC232619  PMID: 9409147
17.  Unsaturated fatty acid mutants of Neurospora crassa. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1977;130(3):1144-1148.
Unsaturated fatty acid (ufa) auxotrophs of Neurospora crassa were obtained by treatment of conidia with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine followed by isolation on media containing polyunsaturated fatty acids suspended in Tergitol NP-40. The 24 mutants for which reisolates were obtained from crosses with wild type were assigned to two complementation classes, ufa-1 and ufa-2, located on linkage group V. Unsaturated fatty acids with varying degrees of unsaturation, chain length, and double-bond position as well as different steric configurations were tested for growth requirements.
PMCID: PMC235338  PMID: 140860
18.  Dietary fat types and 4-year cognitive change in community-dwelling older women 
Annals of Neurology  2012;72(1):124-134.
To relate dietary fat types to cognitive change in healthy community-based elders.
Among 6,183 older participants in the Women’s Health Study, we related intake of major fatty acids (FAs) (saturated [SFA], mono-unsaturated [MUFA], total poly-unsaturated [PUFA], trans-unsaturated) to late-life cognitive trajectory. Serial cognitive testing, conducted over 4 years, began 5 years post-dietary assessment. Primary outcomes were global cognition (averaging tests of general cognition, verbal memory and semantic fluency) and verbal memory (averaging tests of recall). We used analyses of response profiles and logistic regression to estimate multivariable-adjusted differences in cognitive trajectory and risk of worst cognitive change (worst 10%) by fat intake.
Higher SFA intake was associated with worse global cognitive (p-linear-trend=0.008) and verbal memory (p-linear-trend=0.01) trajectories. There was a higher risk of worst cognitive change, comparing highest vs. lowest SFA quintiles: the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval, CI) was 1.64 (1.04,2.58) for global cognition and 1.65 (1.04,2.61) for verbal memory. By contrast, higher MUFA intake was related to better global cognitive (p-linear-trend<0.001) and verbal memory (p-linear-trend=0.009) trajectories, and lower OR (95% CI) of worst cognitive change in global cognition (0.52 [0.31,0.88]) and verbal memory (0.56 [0.34,0.94]). Total fat, PUFA, and trans fat intakes were not associated with cognitive trajectory.
Higher SFA intake was associated with worse global cognitive and verbal memory trajectories, while higher MUFA intake was related to better trajectories. Thus, different consumption levels of the major specific fat types, rather than total fat intake itself, appeared to influence cognitive aging.
PMCID: PMC3405188  PMID: 22605573
19.  Monounsaturated but Not Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Are Required for Growth of the Deep-Sea Bacterium Photobacterium profundum SS9 at High Pressure and Low Temperature 
There is considerable evidence correlating the production of increased proportions of membrane unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) with bacterial growth at low temperatures or high pressures. In order to assess the importance of UFAs to microbial growth under these conditions, the effects of conditions altering UFA levels in the psychrotolerant piezophilic deep-sea bacterium Photobacterium profundum SS9 were investigated. The fatty acids produced by P. profundum SS9 grown at various temperatures and pressures were characterized, and differences in fatty acid composition as a function of phase growth, and between inner and outer membranes, were noted. P. profundum SS9 was found to exhibit enhanced proportions of both monounsaturated (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated (PUFAs) fatty acids when grown at a decreased temperature or elevated pressure. Treatment of cells with cerulenin inhibited MUFA but not PUFA synthesis and led to a decreased growth rate and yield at low temperature and high pressure. In addition, oleic acid-auxotrophic mutants were isolated. One of these mutants, strain EA3, was deficient in the production of MUFAs and was both low-temperature sensitive and high-pressure sensitive in the absence of exogenous 18:1 fatty acid. Another mutant, strain EA2, produced little MUFA but elevated levels of the PUFA species eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3). This mutant grew slowly but was not low-temperature sensitive or high-pressure sensitive. Finally, reverse genetics was employed to construct a mutant unable to produce EPA. This mutant, strain EA10, was also not low-temperature sensitive or high-pressure sensitive. The significance of these results to the understanding of the role of UFAs in growth under low-temperature or high-pressure conditions is discussed.
PMCID: PMC91242  PMID: 10103272
20.  Toll-like receptor signaling links dietary fatty acids to the metabolic syndrome 
Current opinion in lipidology  2009;20(5):379-385.
Purpose of review
Dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs) have been implicated in promoting the metabolic syndrome and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Recent evidence suggests that SFAs promote the metabolic syndrome by activating Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Here we examine emerging molecular evidence that SFAs directly engage pathways of innate immunity, thereby promoting inflammatory aspects of the metabolic syndrome.
Recent findings
Accumulation of SFA in the body is tightly regulated by stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1, an enzyme that converts endogenous SFA to monounsaturated fatty acids. Recent studies have demonstrated that the accumulation of SFA seen with genetic deletion or inhibition stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 promotes inflammation, TLR4 hypersensitivity, and accelerated atherosclerosis. Therefore, stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 may play an unexpected role in suppressing inflammation by preventing excessive accumulation of endogenous SFA-derived TLR4 agonists. In parallel, several independent laboratories have demonstrated that TLR4 is necessary for dietary SFAs to induce obesity, insulin resistance, and vascular inflammation in rodent models.
The metabolic syndrome and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease have long been linked to dietary SFA intake and inflammation. Recent mechanistic insights into how SFAs and downstream metabolites can potentiate inflammation-driven metabolic disease are discussed here.
PMCID: PMC3099529  PMID: 19625959
atherosclerosis; insulin resistance; obesity; polyunsaturated fatty acids; saturated fatty acids; Toll-like receptor 4
21.  Dairy products and plasma cholesterol levels 
Food & Nutrition Research  2010;54:10.3402/fnr.v54i0.5124.
Cholesterol synthesized in the body or ingested is an essential lipid component for human survival from our earliest life. Newborns ingest about 3–4 times the amount per body weight through mother's milk compared to the dietary intake of adults. A birth level of 1.7 mmol/L plasma total cholesterol will increase to 4–4.5 mmol/L during the nursing period and continue to increase from adulthood around 40% throughout life. Coronary artery disease and other metabolic disorders are strongly associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol as well as triacylglycerol concentration. Milk fat contains a broad range of fatty acids and some have a negative impact on the cholesterol rich lipoproteins. The saturated fatty acids (SFAs), such as palmitic acid (C16:0), myristic acid (C14:0), and lauric acid (C12:0), increase total plasma cholesterol, especially LDL, and constitute 11.3 g/L of bovine milk, which is 44.8% of total fatty acid in milk fat. Replacement of dairy SFA and trans-fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids decreases plasma cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, and is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Available data shows different effects on lipoproteins for different dairy products and there is uncertainty as to the impact a reasonable intake amount of dairy items has on cardiovascular risk. The aim of this review is to elucidate the effect of milk components and dairy products on total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and the LDL/HDL quotients. Based on eight recent randomized control trials of parallel or cross-over design and recent reviews it can be concluded that replacement of saturated fat mainly (but not exclusively) derived from high-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy products lowers LDL/HDL cholesterol and total/HDL cholesterol ratios. Whey, dairy fractions enriched in polar lipids, and techniques such as fermentation, or fortification of cows feeding can be used to produce dairy products with more beneficial effects on plasma lipid profile.
PMCID: PMC2926059  PMID: 20806084
bovine milk; low-density lipoprotein; high-density lipoprotein; saturated fatty acids; LDL/HDL quotients
22.  Restoration of dietary-fat induced blood–brain barrier dysfunction by anti-inflammatory lipid-modulating agents 
Several studies have identified use of non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs and statins for prevention of dementia, but their efficacy in slowing progression is not well understood. Cerebrovascular disturbances are common pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease. We previously reported chronic ingestion of saturated fatty acids (SFA) compromises blood–brain barrier (BBB) integrity resulting in cerebral extravasation of plasma proteins and inflammation. However, the SFA-induced parenchymal accumulation of plasma proteins could be prevented by co-administration of some cholesterol lowering agents. Restoration of BBB dysfunction is clinically relevant, so the purpose of this study was to explore lipid-lowering agents could reverse BBB disturbances induced by chronic ingestion of SFA’s.
Wild-type mice were fed an SFA diet for 12 weeks to induce BBB dysfunction, and then randomised to receive atorvastatin, pravastatin or ibuprofen in combination with the SFA-rich diet for 2 or 8 weeks. Abundance of plasma-derived immunoglobulin-G (IgG) and amyloid-β enriched apolipoprotein (apo)-B lipoproteins within brain parenchyme were quantified utilising immunofluorescence microscopy.
Atorvastatin treatment for 2 and 8 weeks restored BBB integrity, indicated by a substantial reduction of IgG and apo B, particularly within the hippocampus. Pravastatin, a water-soluble statin was less effective than atorvastatin (lipid-soluble). Statin effects were independent of changes in plasma lipid homeostasis. Ibuprofen, a lipid-soluble cyclooxygenase inhibitor attenuated cerebral accumulation of IgG and apo B as effectively as atorvastatin. Our findings are consistent with the drug effects being independent of plasma lipid homeostasis.
Our findings suggest that BBB dysfunction induced by chronic ingestion of SFA is reversible with timely introduction and sustained treatment with agents that suppress inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3492058  PMID: 22978403
Alzheimer’s disease; Blood–brain barrier; Atorvastatin; Pravastatin; Ibuprofen; Saturated-fatty acids
23.  Development of dietary fiber rich chicken meat patties using wheat and oat bran 
Dietary fiber rich chicken meat patties were developed by incorporating wheat and oat bran to chicken meat at 5, 10 and 15% levels. Oat bran contained higher amount of soluble dietary fiber (SDF) and unsaturated fatty acids (USFA) than wheat bran, whereas total dietary fiber (TDF), insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) and saturated fatty acids (SFA) were higher in wheat bran. Incorporation of bran significantly increased the water holding capacity (WHC) and emulsion stability (ES). Oat bran showed better effect on WHC and ES than wheat bran. Addition of bran resulted in significant increase in cooking yield, firmness, TDF, USFA and reduction in sensory attributes, moisture, protein, fat and cholesterol content. IDF was higher in wheat bran added patties and SDF and SFA/USFA ratio in oat bran added patties. It is concluded that oat and wheat bran can be incorporated up to 10 and 15% level, respectively for preparation of baked and steamed chicken patties.
PMCID: PMC3550964  PMID: 23572629
Dietary fiber; Chicken meat patties; Chemical; Physico-chemical; Sensory properties
24.  Dietary fat intake and quality of life: the SUN project 
Nutrition Journal  2011;10:121.
Few studies have related nutritional factors with quality of life in healthy populations. The purpose of the study was to assess whether dietary fat intake is associated to mental and physical quality of life.
This analysis included 8,430 participants from the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) Project. The intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), trans unsaturated fatty acids (TFA), and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) was assessed through a 136-item food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Quality of life was measured with the SF-36 Health Survey after 4 years of follow-up. Generalized Linear Models were fitted to assess the regression coefficients (b) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the 8 domains of the SF-36 according to successive quintiles of each kind of fatty acids intake.
The multivariate-adjusted models revealed a significant inverse association for SFA intake (in quintiles) and two of the physical domains (physical functioning and general health). E.g. for general health domain: (highest quintile of intake (Q5) vs. lowest quintile (Q1), b = -1.6; 95% CI = -3.1, -0.1. General health also showed a dose-response relationship (p for trend < 0.05). For TFA intake (in quintiles), a significant inverse association was found for most of the mental domains (vitality, social functioning and role emotional). E.g. for vitality domain (Q5) vs. (Q1), b = -2.0, 95% CI = -3.4 to -0.6. We also found an inverse association between TFA intake and the bodily pain domain: (Q5 vs. Q1), b = -2.6; 95% CI = -4.4 to -0.8, with a statistically significant dose-response relationship (p for trend < 0.05). Except for TFA intake and the mental domains, the rest of the associations were attenuated when we repeated the analysis adjusting for adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
A detrimental relationship between TFA intake at baseline and most of the SF-36 mental domains measured 4 years later were found, whereas weak inverse associations were found for SFA intake and some physical domains.
PMCID: PMC3215177  PMID: 22047452
Dynamic cohort; Fatty acids intake; SF-36 Health Survey; Mental quality of life; Physical quality of life
25.  The Bacillus subtilis Acyl Lipid Desaturase Is a Δ5 Desaturase 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(10):3228-3231.
Bacillus subtilis was recently reported to synthesize unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) with a double bond at positions Δ5, Δ7, and Δ9 (M. H. Weber, W. Klein, L. Muller, U. M. Niess, and M. A. Marahiel, Mol. Microbiol. 39:1321-1329, 2001). Since this finding would have considerable importance in the double-bond positional specificity displayed by the B. subtilis acyl lipid desaturase, we have attempted to confirm this observation. We report that the double bond of UFAs synthesized by B. subtilis is located exclusively at the Δ5 position, regardless of the growth temperature and the length chain of the fatty acids.
PMCID: PMC154086  PMID: 12730185

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