Fatty acid synthase is expressed mainly in adult hormone-sensitive cells or cells with high lipid metabolism and in proliferating fetal cell

Author(s): Kusakabe T, Maeda M, Hoshino H, Sugino T, Watanabe K, et al.


Animal fatty acid synthase (FAS) is a homodimer protein which synthesizes long-chain fatty acids and is rich in liver, brain, breast, and lung. However, the precise cellular localization of FAS in human tissues has not been elucidated. Immunohistochemistry with a new antibody to human FAS revealed that in adult human tissues FAS is distributed mainly in cells with high lipid metabolism (adipocytes, corpus luteum, hepatocytes, sebaceous glands, and Type II alveolar cells), in hormone-sensitive cells (anterior pituitary, apocrine gland, breast, endometrium, prostate, seminal vesicle, and adrenal cortex), and in a subset of epithelial cells of duodenum and stomach, colon absorptive cells, cerebral neurons, basket cells of cerebellum, decidua, uroepithelium, and epidymis. In fetal cells at 20 weeks of gestation, FAS was mainly present in proliferative epithelial cells of the digestive and respiratory systems, proximal renal tubules, adrenocortical cells, and mesenchymal and hematolymphoid cells. Staining was significant in nonproliferating cells, as observed in adult, and in sympathetic ganglion cells, Leidig cells of testis, and Langhans cells of chorionic villi. FAS is maintained in hormone-sensitive cells and/or cells active in lipid metabolism in the adult and is expressed in proliferating cells in the fetus, suggesting active fatty acid synthesis for energy utilization or membrane lipids.

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