Fatty acid synthase and liver triglyceride metabolism: Housekeeper or messenger?

Anne P.L. Jensen-Urstad, Clay F. Semenkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Fatty acid synthase (FAS) catalyzes the de novo synthesis of fatty acids. In the liver, FAS has long been categorized as a housekeeping protein, producing fat for storage of energy when nutrients are present in excess. Most previous studies of FAS regulation have focused on the control of gene expression. However, recent findings suggest that hepatic FAS may also be involved in signaling processes that include activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). Moreover, reports of rapid alterations in FAS activity as well as findings of post-translational modifications of the FAS protein support the notion that dynamic events in addition to transcription impact FAS regulation. These results indicate that FAS enzyme activity can impact liver physiology through signaling as well as energy storage and that its regulation may be complex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Triglyceride Metabolism and Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-753
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Diabetes
  • Fatty liver
  • Lipid signaling
  • Obesity
  • PPARα
  • Post-translational regulation


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