FADS genetic and metabolomic analyses identify the ?5 desaturase (FADS1) step as a critical control point in the formation of biologically important lipids.
ABSTRACT: Humans have undergone intense evolutionary selection to optimize their capacity to generate necessary quantities of long chain (LC-) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-containing lipids. To better understand the impact of genetic variation within a locus of three FADS genes (FADS1, FADS2, and FADS3) on a diverse family of lipids, we examined the associations of 247 lipid metabolites (including four major classes of LC-PUFA-containing molecules and signaling molecules) with common and low-frequency genetic variants located within the FADS locus. Genetic variation in the FADS locus was strongly associated (p?
Project description:Omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) long (? 20 carbon) chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) play a critical role in human health and disease. Biosynthesis of LC-PUFAs from dietary 18 carbon PUFAs in tissues such as the liver is highly associated with genetic variation within the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster, containing FADS1 and FADS2 that encode the rate-limiting desaturation enzymes in the LC-PUFA biosynthesis pathway. However, the molecular mechanisms by which FADS genetic variants affect LC-PUFA biosynthesis, and in which tissues, are unclear. The current study examined associations between common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the FADS gene cluster and FADS1 and FADS2 gene expression in 44 different human tissues (sample sizes ranging 70-361) from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project. FADS1 and FADS2 expression were detected in all 44 tissues. Significant cis-eQTLs (within 1 megabase of each gene, False Discovery Rate, FDR<0.05, as defined by GTEx) were identified in 12 tissues for FADS1 gene expression and 23 tissues for FADS2 gene expression. Six tissues had significant (FDR< 0.05) eQTLs associated with both FADS1 and FADS2 (including artery, esophagus, heart, muscle, nerve, and thyroid). Interestingly, the identified eQTLs were consistently found to be associated in opposite directions for FADS1 and FADS2 expression. Taken together, findings from this study suggest common SNPs within the FADS gene cluster impact the transcription of FADS1 and FADS2 in numerous tissues and raise important questions about how the inverse expression of these two genes impact intermediate molecular (such a LC-PUFA and LC-PUFA-containing glycerolipid levels) and ultimately clinical phenotypes associated with inflammatory diseases and brain health.
Project description:Background:Adequate availability of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) is important for human health from pregnancy to adulthood. Previous studies on fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been performed predominantly in Western populations and showed that FADS SNPs had a marked impact on LC-PUFA composition in blood and tissues. Objectives:We aimed to investigate the influence of fetal FADS genotypes on LC-PUFA composition in umbilical artery plasma lipids in Indonesian infants. Design:We performed a cross-sectional study to assess for these associations. Results:A total of 12 cord plasma n-6 (ω-6) and n-3 (ω-3) fatty acids were analyzed for associations with 18 FADS gene cluster SNPs from 390 women with single parturition from the Indonesian Prospective Study of Atopic Dermatitis in Infants (ISADI). Fetal FADS genotypes influenced cord plasma LC-PUFA composition, but, in contrast to previous studies from Western populations, the quantitatively predominant SNPs were associated with lower LC-PUFA content. Conclusion:To our knowledge, this study was the first in South East Asia on FADS genotypes and arterial cord blood fatty acids to show an association between fetal LC-PUFA composition and fetal FADS SNPs. The FADS genotype distribution differs markedly between different geographical populations. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02401178.
Project description:The front-end desaturases (Fads) are rate-limiting enzymes responsible for production of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). The full spectrum of the transcriptional regulation of fads is still incomplete, as cloning of fads promoter is limited to a few species. Here, we described the cloning and characterisation of the zebrafish fads2 promoter. Using 5'-deletion and mutation analysis on this promoter, we identified a specific region containing the sterol regulatory element (SRE) which is responsible for the activation of the fads2 promoter. In tandem, two conserved CCAAT boxes were also present adjacent to the SRE and mutation of either of these binding sites attenuates the transcriptional activation of the fads2 promoter. An in vivo analysis employing GFP reporter gene in transiently transfected zebrafish embryos showed that this 1754 bp upstream region of the fads2 gene specifically directs GFP expression in the yolk syncytial layer (YSL) region. This indicates a role for LC-PUFA in the transport of yolk lipids through this tissue layer. In conclusion, besides identifying novel core elements for transcriptional activation in zebrafish fads2 promoter, we also reveal a potential role for fads2 or LC-PUFA in YSL during development.
Project description:Dietary essential omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) 18 carbon (18C-) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), can be converted (utilizing desaturase and elongase enzymes encoded by FADS and ELOVL genes) to biologically-active long chain (LC; >20)-PUFAs by numerous cells and tissues. These n-6 and n-3 LC-PUFAs and their metabolites (ex, eicosanoids and endocannabinoids) play critical signaling and structural roles in almost all physiologic and pathophysiologic processes.This review summarizes: (1) the biosynthesis, metabolism and roles of LC-PUFAs; (2) the potential impact of rapidly altering the intake of dietary LA and ALA; (3) the genetics and evolution of LC-PUFA biosynthesis; (4) Gene-diet interactions that may lead to excess levels of n-6 LC-PUFAs and deficiencies of n-3 LC-PUFAs; and (5) opportunities for precision nutrition approaches to personalize n-3 LC-PUFA supplementation for individuals and populations.The rapid nature of transitions in 18C-PUFA exposure together with the genetic variation in the LC-PUFA biosynthetic pathway found in different populations make mal-adaptations a likely outcome of our current nutritional environment. Understanding this genetic variation in the context of 18C-PUFA dietary exposure should enable the development of individualized n-3 LC-PUFA supplementation regimens to prevent and manage human disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Tracking of fatty acid (FA) contribution to plasma or serum lipids over time was shown in children and adults. However, the potential role of FADS gene variants has not been investigated. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Serum GP FA composition of 331 children aged 2 and 6 years, participating in an ongoing birth cohort study, was analyzed. Correlation coefficients were estimated to describe FA tracking over 4 years and to assess the influence of FADS variants on tracking. We found low to moderate tracking (r?=?0.12-0.49) of FA compositions and concentration between 2 and 6 years. Concentration changes of total monounsaturated FA and total saturated FA over time correlated closely (r?=?0.79) but percentage values were unrelated (r?=?-0.02). Tracking for n-6 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) concentrations was lower in subjects homozygous for the major allele of FADS variants and higher in carriers of at least one minor allele, whereas for total n-3 LC-PUFA concentrations and compositions this was vice versa. For individual n-3 PUFA inconsistent results were found. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Serum GP FA composition shows low to moderate tracking over 4 years with a higher tracking for LC-PUFA metabolites than for their precursor FA. Serum PUFA levels and their tracking seem to be more influenced by lipid and lipoprotein metabolism than by FA specific pathways.
Project description:The role of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is not well established. The synthesis of LC n-3 PUFA requires fatty acid desaturase enzymes, which are encoded by the FADS gene. It is unclear if FADS polymorphism and dietary fatty acid intake can influence plasma or erythrocyte membrane fatty acid profile and thereby the risk of T2DM. Thus, the aim of this systematic review was to assess the current evidence for an effect of FADS polymorphism on T2DM risk and understand its associations with serum/erythrocyte and dietary LC n-3 PUFA. A systematic search was performed using PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and Scopus databases. A total of five studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the present review. This review identified that FADS polymorphism may alter plasma fatty acid composition and play a protective role in the development of T2DM. Serum and erythrocyte LC n-3 PUFA levels were not associated with risk of T2DM, while dietary intake of LC n-3 PUFA was associated with lower risk of T2DM in one study only. The effect of LC n-3 PUFA consumption on associations between FADS polymorphism and T2DM warrants further investigation.
Project description:Blood and tissue contents of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) are related to numerous health outcomes including cardiovascular health, allergies, mental health and cognitive development. Evidence has accumulated to show that in addition to diet, common polymorphisms in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster have very marked effects on human PUFA and LC-PUFA status. Recent results suggest that in addition to fatty acid desaturase 1 and fatty acid desaturase 2, the gene product of fatty acid desaturase 3 is associated with desaturating activity. New data have become available to show that FADS single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) also modulate docosahexaenoic acid status in pregnancy as well as LC-PUFA levels in children and in human milk. There are indications that FADS SNPs modulate the risk for allergic disorders and eczema, and the effect of breastfeeding on later cognitive development. Mechanisms by which FADS SNPs modulate PUFA levels in blood, breast milk and tissues should be explored further. More studies are required to explore the effects of FADS gene variants in populations with different ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles and dietary habits, and to investigate in greater depth the interaction of gene variants, diet and clinical end points, including immune response and developmental outcomes. Analyses of FADS gene variants should be included into all sizeable cohort and intervention studies addressing biological effects of PUFA and LC-PUFA in order to consider these important confounders, and to enhance study sensitivity and precision.
Project description:Fetal supply with long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) during pregnancy is important for brain growth and visual and cognitive development and is provided by materno-fetal placental transfer. We recently showed that maternal fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genotypes modulate the amounts of LC-PUFA in maternal blood. Whether FADS genotypes influence the amounts of umbilical cord fatty acids has not been investigated until now. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of maternal and child FADS genotypes on the amounts of LC-PUFA in umbilical cord venous plasma as an indicator of fetal fatty acid supply during pregnancy. A total of eleven cord plasma n-6 and n-3 fatty acids were analysed for association with seventeen FADS gene cluster SNP in over 2000 mothers and children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. In a multivariable analysis, the maternal genotype effect was adjusted for the child genotype and vice versa to estimate which of the two has the stronger influence on cord plasma fatty acids. Both maternal and child FADS genotypes and haplotypes influenced amounts of cord plasma LC-PUFA and fatty acid ratios. Specifically, most analysed maternal SNP were associated with cord plasma levels of the precursor n-6 PUFA, whereas the child genotypes were mainly associated with more highly desaturated n-6 LC-PUFA. This first study on FADS genotypes and cord fatty acids suggests that fetal LC-PUFA status is determined to some extent by fetal fatty acid conversion. Associations of particular haplotypes suggest specific effects of SNP rs498793 and rs968567 on fatty acid metabolism.
Project description:The genetic and molecular pathways driving human brain white matter (WM) development are only beginning to be discovered. Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) have been implicated in myelination in animal models and humans. The biosynthesis of LC-PUFAs is regulated by the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes, of which a human-specific haplotype is strongly associated with ?-3 and ?-6 LC-PUFA concentrations in blood. To investigate the relationship between LC-PUFA synthesis and human brain WM development, we examined whether this FADS haplotype is associated with age-related WM differences across the life span in healthy individuals 9-86 years of age (n = 207). Diffusion tensor imaging was performed to measure fractional anisotropy (FA), a putative measure of myelination, of the cerebral WM tracts. FADS haplotype status was determined with a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs174583) that tags this haplotype. Overall, normal age-related WM differences were observed, including higher FA values in early adulthood compared with childhood, followed by lower FA values across older age ranges. However, individuals homozygous for the minor allele (associated with lower LC-PUFA concentrations) did not display these normal age-related WM differences (significant age × genotype interactions, p(corrected) < 0.05). These findings suggest that LC-PUFAs are involved in human brain WM development from childhood into adulthood. This haplotype and LC-PUFAs may play a role in myelin-related disorders of neurodevelopmental origin.
Project description:Sea urchins are broadly recognised as a delicacy and their quality as food for humans is highly influenced by their diet. Lipids in general and the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in particular, are essential nutrients that determine not only the nutritional value of sea urchins but also guarantee normal growth and reproduction in captivity. The contribution of endogenous production (biosynthesis) of LC-PUFA in sea urchins remained unknown. Using Paracentrotus lividus as our model species, we aimed to characterise both molecularly and functionally the repertoire of fatty acyl desaturases (Fads), key enzymes in the biosynthesis of LC-PUFA, in sea urchins. Three Fads, namely FadsA, FadsC1 and FadsC2, were characterised. The phylogenetic analyses suggested that the repertoire of Fads within the Echinodermata phylum varies among classes. On one hand, orthologues of the P. lividus FadsA were found in other echinoderm classes including starfishes, brittle stars and sea cucumbers, thus suggesting that this desaturase is virtually present in all echinoderms. Contrarily, the FadsC appears to be sea urchin-specific desaturase. Finally, a further desaturase termed as FadsB exists in starfishes, brittle stars and sea cucumbers, but appears to be missing in sea urchins. The functional characterisation of the P. lividus Fads confirmed that the FadsA was a ?5 desaturase with activity towards saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA). Moreover, our experiments confirmed that FadsA plays a role in the biosynthesis of non-methylene interrupted FA, a group of compounds typically found in marine invertebrates. On the other hand, both FadsC desaturases from P. lividus showed ?8 activity. The present results demonstrate that P. lividus possesses desaturases that account for all the desaturation reactions required to biosynthesis the physiological essential eicosapentaenoic and arachidonic acids through the so-called "?8 pathway".