Role of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase in regulating lipid metabolism

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Purpose of reviewStearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 is a δ-9 fatty acid desaturase that catalyzes the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids and has emerged as a key regulator of metabolism. This review evaluates the latest advances in our understanding of the pivotal role of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 in health and disease.Recent findingsScd1-deficient mice have reduced lipid synthesis and enhanced lipid oxidation, thermogenesis and insulin sensitivity in various tissues including liver, muscle and adipose tissue due to transcriptional and posttranscriptional effects. These metabolic changes protect Scd1-deficient mice from a variety of dietary, pharmacological and genetic conditions that promote obesity, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 is required to guard against dietary unsaturated fat deficiency, leptin deficiency-induced diabetes, and palmitate-induced lipotoxic insults in muscle and pancreatic β-cells. Paradoxical observations of increased muscle stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 during obesity, starvation and exercise raise questions as to the role of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 in this tissue. Mice with a liver-specific loss of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1, and inhibition of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 via antisense or RNA interference, recapitulate only a subset of the phenotypes observed in global Scd1 deficiency, indicating the involvement of multiple tissues.SummaryRecent studies in humans and animal models have highlighted that modulation of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 activity by dietary intervention or genetic manipulation strongly influences several facets of energy metabolism to affect susceptibility to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

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