Polyunsaturated fatty acids: From diet to binding to ppars and other nuclear receptors

Genes Nutr. 2006 Jun;1(2):95-106. doi: 10.1007/BF02829951.


Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) function not only by altering membrane lipid composition, cellular metabolism, signal transduction, but possess also effects on gene expression by regulating the activity/abundance of different nuclear transcription factors: peroxisome proliferator activated receptors, retinoid X receptors, liver X receptors, hepatic nuclear factors-4a, and sterol regulatory binding proteins 1 and 2. PUFAs regulate the expression of genes in various tissues, including the liver, heart, adipose tissue, and brain, playing a major role in carbohydrate, fatty acid, triglyceride, and cholesterol metabolism. Before binding to transcription factors, PUFAs must be absorbed in the intestine and delivered to cells, and then they must enter the cell and the nucleus. PUFA concentration within the cell depends on many different factors, and regulate their possibility to act as transcription modulators. The aim of this review is to summarize recent knowledge about PUFAs destiny from dietto nuclear factors binding, examining the different variables which can modulate their interaction with nuclear factors themselves and therefore their effect on gene expression.