Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Human fatty acid synthase: properties and molecular cloning.

PMID 7567999


Fatty acid synthase (FAS; EC was purified to near homogeneity from a human hepatoma cell line, HepG2. The HepG2 FAS has a specific activity of 600 nmol of NADPH oxidized per min per mg, which is about half that of chicken liver FAS. All the partial activities of human FAS are comparable to those of other animal FASs, except for the beta-ketoacyl synthase, whose significantly lower activity is attributable to the low 4'-phosphopantetheine content of HepG2 FAS. We cloned the human brain FAS cDNA. The cDNA sequence has an open reading frame of 7512 bp that encodes 2504 amino acids (M(r), 272,516). The amino acid sequence of the human FAS has 79% and 63% identity, respectively, with the sequences of the rat and chicken enzymes. Northern analysis revealed that human FAS mRNA was about 9.3 kb in size and that its level varied among human tissues, with brain, lung, and liver tissues showing prominent expression. The nucleotide sequence of a segment of the HepG2 FAS cDNA (bases 2327-3964) was identical to that of the cDNA from normal human liver and brain tissues, except for a 53-bp sequence (bases 3892-3944) that does not alter the reading frame. This altered sequence is also present in HepG2 genomic DNA. The origin and significance of this sequence variance in the HepG2 FAS gene are unclear, but the variance apparently does not contribute to the lower activity of HepG2 FAS.