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Acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase, mitochondrial precursor (EC (Acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase) (T2) [ACAT] [MAT]


An Adult Drosophila Glioma Model for Studying Pathometabolic Pathways of Gliomagenesis.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most prevalent brain tumor in adults, has extremely poor prognosis. Frequent genetic alterations that activate epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling, as well as metabolic remodeling, have been associated with gliomagenesis. To establish a whole-animal approach that can be used to readily identify individual pathometabolic signaling factors, we induced glioma formation in the adult Drosophila brain by activating the EGFR-PI3K pathway. Glioma-induced animals showed significantly enlarged brain volume, early locomotor abnormalities, memory deficits, and a shorter lifespan. Combining bioinformatics analysis and glial-specific gene knockdown in the adult fly glioma model, we identified four evolutionarily conserved metabolic genes, including ALDOA, ACAT1, ELOVL6, and LOX, that were involved in gliomagenesis. Silencing of ACAT1, which controls cholesterol homeostasis, reduced brain enlargement and increased the lifespan of the glioma-bearing flies. In GBM patients, ACAT1 is overexpressed and correlates with poor survival outcomes. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of ACAT1 in human glioma cell lines revealed that it is essential for tumor proliferation. Collectively, these results imply that ACAT1 is a potential therapeutic target, and cholesterol homeostasis is strongly related to glioma formation. This in vivo model provides several rapid and robust phenotypic readouts, allowing determination of the pathometabolic pathways involved in gliomagenesis, as well as providing valuable information for novel therapeutic strategies.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioma
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Memory Disorders
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Motor Activity
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase
  • Survival Analysis


  • ACAT1
  • Drosophila
  • Glioma
  • Metabolism

Serum starvation of ARPE-19 changes the cellular distribution of cholesterol and Fibulin3 in patterns reminiscent of age-related macular degeneration.

Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) has been implicated as key source of cholesterol-rich deposits at Bruch's membrane (BrM) and in drusen in aging human eye. We have shown that serum-deprivation of confluent RPE cells is associated with upregulation of cholesterol synthesis and accumulation of unesterified cholesterol (UC). Here we investigate the cellular processes involved in this response. We compared the distribution and localization of UC and esterified cholesterol (EC); the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) associated EFEMP1/Fibulin3 (Fib3); and levels of acyl-coenzyme A (CoA): cholesterol acyltransferases (ACAT) ACAT1, ACAT2 and Apolipoprotein B (ApoB) in ARPE-19 cells cultured in serum-supplemented and serum-free media. The results were compared with distributions of these lipids and proteins in human donor eyes with AMD. Serum deprivation of ARPE-19 was associated with increased formation of FM dye-positive membrane vesicles, many of which co-labeled for UC. Additionally, UC colocalized with Fib3 in distinct granules. By day 5, serum-deprived cells grown on transwells secreted Fib3 basally into the matrix. While mRNA and protein levels of ACTA1 were constant over several days of serum-deprivation, ACAT2 levels increased significantly after serum-deprivation, suggesting increased formation of EC. The lower levels of intracellular EC observed under serum-deprivation were associated with increased formation and secretion of ApoB. The responses to serum-deprivation in RPE-derived cells: accumulation and secretion of lipids, lipoproteins, and Fib3 are very similar to patterns seen in human donor eyes with AMD and suggest that this model mimics processes relevant to disease progression.

MeSH Terms

  • Acetyl-CoA C-Acetyltransferase
  • Acyl Coenzyme A
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cell Line
  • Cholesterol
  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Diffusion Chambers, Culture
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Models, Biological
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Aging
  • Cholesterol
  • Fibulin 3
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Serum deprivation

Intramyocellular lipid content and lipogenic gene expression responses following a single bout of resistance type exercise differ between young and older men.

The aim of this study was to examine the temporal relationship between intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content and the expression of genes associated with IMCL turnover, fat metabolism, and inflammation during recovery from an acute bout of resistance type exercise in old versus young men. Seven healthy young (23±2years, 77.2±2.9kg) and seven healthy older (72±1years, 79.3±4.9kg) males performed a single bout of resistance exercise involving 6 sets of 10 repetitions of leg press and 6 sets of 10 repetitions of leg extension at 75% one-repetition maximum (1-RM). Muscle biopsy samples were obtained before and 12, 24 and 48h after the completion of exercise and analysed for IMCL content and the expression of 48 genes. The subjects refrained from further heavy physical exercise and consumed a standardized diet for the entire experimental period. The IMCL content was ~2-fold higher at baseline and 12h post-exercise in old compared with young individuals. However, no differences between groups were apparent after 48h of recovery. There was higher expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis (FASN and PPARγ) during the first 24h of recovery. Differential responses to exercise were observed between groups for a number of genes indicating increased inflammatory response (IL6, IkBalpha, CREB1) and impaired fat metabolism and TCA cycle (LPL, ACAT1, SUCLG1) in older compared with younger individuals. A singe bout of resistance type exercise leads to molecular changes in skeletal muscle favouring reduced lipid oxidation, increased lipogenesis, and exaggerated inflammation during post-exercise recovery in the older compared with younger individuals, which may be indicative of a blunted response of IMCL turnover with ageing.

MeSH Terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Blood Glucose
  • Exercise
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Insulin
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipogenesis
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Young Adult


  • Ageing
  • Genes
  • IMCL
  • Resistance exercise
  • Skeletal muscle

Prenatal betaine exposure alleviates corticosterone-induced inhibition of CYP27A1 expression in the liver of juvenile chickens associated with its promoter DNA methylation.

Sterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27A1) plays an important role in cholesterol homeostasis by degrading cholesterol to bile acids. Betaine can alleviate high-fat diet-induced hepatic cholesterol accumulation and maternal betaine treatment programs the hepatic expression of CYP27A1 in offspring. Excessive corticosterone (CORT) exposure causes hepatic cholesterol deposition in chickens, yet it remains unknown whether prenatal betaine modulates CORT-induced cholesterol accumulation in chicken liver later in life and whether it involves epigenetic gene regulation of CYP27A1. In this study, fertilized eggs were injected with saline or betaine at 2.5mg/egg before incubation, and the hatchlings were raised under the same condition till 56days of age followed by 7days of subcutaneous CORT injection. Plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (Tch), HDL- and LDL-cholesterol were significantly increased (P<0.05), after CORT challenge, in both control and betaine groups. However, prenatal betaine exposure prevented CORT-induced increase (P<0.05) in hepatic Tch content. Hepatic expression of cholesterol biosynthesis genes and ACAT1 protein that esterifies cholesterol for storage, were activated in both control and betaine groups upon CORT challenge. However, betaine-treated chickens were protected from CORT-induced repression (P<0.05) in LXR and CYP27A1 expression in the liver. CORT-induced down-regulation of LXR and CYP27A1 coincided with significantly increased (P<0.05) CpG methylation on their promoters, which was significantly ameliorated in betaine-treated chickens. These results suggest that in ovo betaine injection alleviates CORT-induced hepatic cholesterol deposition most probably through epigenetic regulation of CYP27A1 and LXR genes in juvenile chickens.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Betaine
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chickens
  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase
  • Cholesterol
  • Corticosterone
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Liver
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Betaine
  • CYP27A1
  • Cholesterol
  • Corticosterone
  • DNA methylation