Journal of lipid research

n-6 PUFAs downregulate expression of the tricarboxylate carrier in rat liver by transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms.

PMID 15060089


The tricarboxylate (citrate) carrier (TCC), a protein of the mitochondrial inner membrane, is an obligatory component of the shuttle system by which mitochondrial acetyl-CoA is transported into the cytosol, where lipogenesis occurs. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular basis for the regulation of TCC gene expression by a high-fat, n-6 PUFA-enriched diet. Rats received for up to 4 weeks a diet enriched with 15% safflower oil (SO), which is high in linoleic acid (70.4%). We found a gradual decrease of TCC activity and a parallel decline in the abundance of TCC mRNA, the maximum effect occurring after 4 weeks of treatment. At this time, the estimated half-life of TCC mRNA was the same in the hepatocytes from rats on both diets, whereas the transcriptional rate of TCC mRNA, tested by nuclear run-on assay, was reduced by approximately 38% in the rats on the SO-enriched diet. The RNase protection assay showed that the ratio of mature to precursor RNA, measured in the nuclei, decreased with the change to the n-6 PUFA diet. These results suggest that administration of n-6 PUFAs to rats leads to changes not only in the transcriptional rate of the TCC gene but also in the processing of the nuclear precursor for TCC RNA.