Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of



Date of this Version



Biomedicines 2020, 8, 289; pg.1-19 doi:10.3390/biomedicines8080289


2020 by the authors


The constitutive activation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) leads to the overproduction of apoB-containing triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins in HepG2 cells. R-α-lipoic acid (LA) and 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) have hypolipidemic function but their mechanisms of action are not well understood. Here, we reported that LA and PBA regulate hepatocellular lipid metabolism via distinct mechanisms. The use of SQ22536, an inhibitor of adenylyl cyclase, revealed cAMP’s involvement in the upregulation of CPT1A expression by LA but not by PBA. LA decreased the secretion of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in the culture media of hepatic cells and increased the abundance of LDL receptor (LDLR) in cellular extracts in part through transcriptional upregulation. Although PBA induced LDLR gene expression, it did not translate into more LDLR proteins. PBA regulated cellular lipid homeostasis through the induction of CPT1A and INSIG2 expression via an epigenetic mechanism involving the acetylation of histone H3, histone H4, and CBP-p300 at the CPT1A and INSIG2 promoters.