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Investigation of highly unsaturated fatty acid metabolism in the Asian sea bass, Lates calcarifer

Citation
Mohd-Yusof NY, Monroig O, Mohd-Adnan A, Wan K & Tocher DR (2010) Investigation of highly unsaturated fatty acid metabolism in the Asian sea bass, Lates calcarifer, Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 36 (4), pp. 827-843.

Abstract
Lates calcarifer, commonly known as the Asian sea bass or barramundi, is an interesting species that has great aquaculture potential in Asia including Malaysia and also Australia. We have investigated essential fatty acid metabolism in this species, focusing on the endogenous highly unsaturated fatty acid (HUFA) synthesis pathway using both biochemical and molecular biological approaches. Fatty acyl desaturase (Fad) and elongase (Elovl) cDNAs were cloned and functional characterization identified them as ∆6 Fad and Elovl5 elongase enzymes, respectively. The ∆6 Fad was equally active towards 18:3n-3 and 18:2n-6, and Elovl5 exhibited elongation activity for C18-20 and C20-22 elongation and a trace of C22-24 activity. The tissue profile of gene expression for ∆6 fad and elovl5 genes, showed brain to have the highest expression of both genes compared to all other tissues. The results of tissue fatty acid analysis showed that the brain contained more docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) than flesh, liver and intestine. The HUFA synthesis activity in isolated hepatocytes and enterocytes using [1-14C]18:3n-3 as substrate was very low with the only desaturated product detected being 18:4n-3. These findings indicate that L. calcarifer display an essential fatty acid pattern similar to other marine fish in that they appear unable to synthesize HUFA from C18 substrates. High expression of ∆6 fad and elovl5 genes in brain may indicate a role for these enzymes in maintaining high DHA levels in neural tissues through conversion of 20:5n-3.

Keywords
Fatty acid; metabolism; fatty acyl desaturase; elongase; barramundi; Asian sea bass; cDNA; functional characterisation

Subject headings
Giant perch; Fatty acids Metabolism

StatusPublished
AuthorsMohd-Yusof Nurul Yuziana, Monroig Oscar, Mohd-Adnan Adura, Wan Kiew-Lian, Tocher Douglas R
Publication date12/2010
URLhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/16l47312j325p15g/
PublisherSpringer
ISSN 0920-1742
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Fish Physiology and Biochemistry: Volume 36, Issue 4 (2010-12)

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