Effects of elaidic acid on lipid metabolism in HepG2 cells, investigated by an integrated approach of lipidomics, transcriptomics and proteomics

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 13;8(9):e74283. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074283. eCollection 2013.


Trans fatty acid consumption in the human diet can cause adverse health effects, such as cardiovascular disease, which is associated with higher total cholesterol, a higher low density lipoprotein-cholesterol level and a decreased high density lipoprotein-cholesterol level. The aim of the study was to elucidate the hepatic response to the most abundant trans fatty acid in the human diet, elaidic acid, to help explain clinical findings on the relationship between trans fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. The human HepG2 cell line was used as a model to investigate the hepatic response to elaidic acid in a combined proteomic, transcriptomic and lipidomic approach. We found many of the proteins responsible for cholesterol synthesis up-regulated together with several proteins involved in the esterification and hepatic import/export of cholesterol. Furthermore, a profound remodeling of the cellular membrane occurred at the phospholipid level. Our findings contribute to the explanation on how trans fatty acids from the diet can cause modifications in plasma cholesterol levels by inducing abundance changes in several hepatic proteins and the hepatic membrane composition.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Oleic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Oleic Acids
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Proteomics*


  • Oleic Acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Oleic Acid
  • elaidic acid

Grant support

The authors have no funding or support to report.