Effects of intestinal fatty acid-binding protein overexpression on fatty acid metabolism in Caco-2 cells
Darimont, C.; Gradoux, N.; Persohn, E.; Cumin, F.; De Pover, A.
Journal of Lipid Research 41(1): 84-92
Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) is a cytosolic protein expressed at high levels (up to 2% of cytosolic proteins) in the small intestine epithelium. Despite cell transfection studies, its function is still unclear. Indeed, different effects on fatty acid metabolism depending on the cell type and the amount of I-FABP expressed have been reported. Furthermore, a decrease in fatty acid incorporation has been unexpectedly obtained when I-FABP reached 0. 72% of cytosolic proteins in fibroblasts (Prows et al. 1997. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 340: 135). In the present study, the effect of a high level of I-FABP similar to amounts present in the small intestine was investigated in the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line, Caco-2. After transfection with human I-FABP cDNA, a clone expressing 1.5% I-FABP and unchanged level of liver FABP was selected. These cells, which had a lower rate of proliferation as compared with mock-transfected cells, developed the typical morphological characteristics of differentiated enterocytes. Incubation of differentiated cells with [(14)C]palmitate showed a 34% reduction (P < 0.01) of fatty acid incorporation, whereas the relative distribution of radiolabel into triglycerides was not affected. A nonsignificant 21% reduction of fatty acid incorporation was observed with another clone expressing 10-fold less I-FABP. In conclusion, a high level of I-FABP expressed in a differentiated enterocyte model inhibited fatty acid incorporation, by a mechanism which remains to be defined.