Malonyl-CoA, generated by acetyl-CoA carboxylases ACC1 and ACC2, is a key metabolite in the control of fatty acid synthesis and oxidation in response to dietary changes. ACC2 is associated to the mitochondria, and Acc2-/- mice have a normal lifespan and higher fatty acid oxidation rate and accumulate less fat. Mutant mice fed high-fat/high-carbohydrate diets weighed less than their WT cohorts, accumulated less fat, and maintained normal levels of insulin and glucose, whereas the WT mice became type-2 diabetic with hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic status. Fatty acid oxidation rates in the soleus muscle and in hepatocytes of Acc2-/- mice were significantly higher than those of WT cohorts and were not affected by the addition of insulin. mRNA levels of uncoupling proteins (UCPs) were significantly higher in adipose, heart (UCP2), and muscle (UCP3) tissues of mutant mice compared with those of the WT. The increase in the UCP levels along with increased fatty acid oxidation may play an essential role in the regulation of energy expenditure. Lowering intracellular fatty acid accumulation in the mutant relative to that of the WT mice may thus impact glucose transport by higher GLUT4 activity and insulin sensitivity. These results suggest that ACC2 plays an essential role in controlling fatty acid oxidation and is a potential target in therapy against obesity and related diseases.
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