Journal of lipid research

Flavin containing monooxygenase 3 exerts broad effects on glucose and lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis.

PMID 25378658


We performed silencing and overexpression studies of flavin containing monooxygenase (FMO) 3 in hyperlipidemic mouse models to examine its effects on trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) levels and atherosclerosis. Knockdown of hepatic FMO3 in LDL receptor knockout mice using an antisense oligonucleotide resulted in decreased circulating TMAO levels and atherosclerosis. Surprisingly, we also observed significant decreases in hepatic lipids and in levels of plasma lipids, ketone bodies, glucose, and insulin. FMO3 overexpression in transgenic mice, on the other hand, increased hepatic and plasma lipids. Global gene expression analyses suggested that these effects of FMO3 on lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis may be mediated through the PPARα and Kruppel-like factor 15 pathways. In vivo and in vitro results were consistent with the concept that the effects were mediated directly by FMO3 rather than trimethylamine/TMAO; in particular, overexpression of FMO3 in the human hepatoma cell line, Hep3B, resulted in significantly increased glucose secretion and lipogenesis. Our results indicate a major role for FMO3 in modulating glucose and lipid homeostasis in vivo, and they suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of FMO3 to reduce TMAO levels would be confounded by metabolic interactions.