Zebrafish Δ-5/Δ-6 fatty acid desaturase (Z-FADS) catalyzes the cascade synthesis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), thereby playing a pivotal role in several biological processes. In the current study, we report that the Z-FADS protein exists in close proximity to certain cytochrome b5 reductases (CYB5R2 and 3) and elongases (ELOVL2, 4, 5 and 7) on the endoplasmic reticulum, as determined using fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence resonance energy transfer. HeLa cells co-transfected with zebrafish fads and elovl2, 4, and 5 produced docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as detected by gas chromatography. In addition, immunofluorescence cytochemistry and Western blot data revealed that Z-FADS is present in the mitochondria of HeLa cells. Collectively, our results implicate that Z-FADS, the sole fatty acid desaturase ever been identified in zebrafish, can serve as a universal fatty acid desaturase during lipogenesis.
Keywords: Cytochrome b5 reductase; Elongase; Fatty acid desaturase; Fluorescence resonance energy transfer; Zebrafish.
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