Fatty Acid Profile and Genetic Variants of Proteins Involved in Fatty Acid Metabolism Could Be Considered as Disease Predictor

Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Mar 4;13(5):979. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics13050979.


Circulating fatty acids (FA) have an endogenous or exogenous origin and are metabolized under the effect of many enzymes. They play crucial roles in many mechanisms: cell signaling, modulation of gene expression, etc., which leads to the hypothesis that their perturbation could be the cause of disease development. FA in erythrocytes and plasma rather than dietary FA could be used as a biomarker for many diseases. Cardiovascular disease was associated with elevated trans FA and decreased DHA and EPA. Increased arachidonic acid and decreased Docosahexaenoic Acids (DHA) were associated with Alzheimer's disease. Low Arachidonic acid and DHA are associated with neonatal morbidities and mortality. Decreased saturated fatty acids (SFA), increased monounsaturated FA (MUFA) and polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) (C18:2 n-6 and C20:3 n-6) are associated with cancer. Additionally, genetic polymorphisms in genes coding for enzymes implicated in FA metabolism are associated with disease development. FA desaturase (FADS1 and FADS2) polymorphisms are associated with Alzheimer's disease, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder and obesity. Polymorphisms in FA elongase (ELOVL2) are associated with Alzheimer's disease, Autism spectrum disorder and obesity. FA-binding protein polymorphism is associated with dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, peripheral atherosclerosis combined with type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. Acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase polymorphisms are associated with diabetes, obesity and diabetic nephropathy. FA profile and genetic variants of proteins implicated in FA metabolism could be considered as disease biomarkers and may help with the prevention and management of diseases.

Keywords: diseases; fatty acids; gene polymorphisms; plasma; red blood cells.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research at University of Bisha-Saudi Arabia, through the project number UB-GRP-66-1444.