Mechanisms of metabolic flexibility enable cells to survive under stressful conditions and can thwart therapeutic responses. Acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) plays central roles in energy production, lipid metabolism, and epigenomic modifications. Here, we show that, upon genetic deletion of Acly, the gene coding for ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), cells remain viable and proliferate, although at an impaired rate. In the absence of ACLY, cells upregulate ACSS2 and utilize exogenous acetate to provide acetyl-CoA for de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and histone acetylation. A physiological level of acetate is sufficient for cell viability and abundant acetyl-CoA production, although histone acetylation levels remain low in ACLY-deficient cells unless supplemented with high levels of acetate. ACLY-deficient adipocytes accumulate lipid in vivo, exhibit increased acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA production from acetate, and display some differences in fatty acid content and synthesis. Together, these data indicate that engagement of acetate metabolism is a crucial, although partial, mechanism of compensation for ACLY deficiency.
Keywords: ACLY; ACSS2; acetate; acetyl-CoA; acetylation; adipose tissue; fatty acid synthesis; metabolic flexibility; metabolism.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.