Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Barbour


Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP) are transcription factors that regulate genes involved in lipid metabolism especially in the liver. Therefore, hepatic SREBP is significant regulator of systemic lipid metabolism. Evidence demonstrates that insulin and dietary unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) regulate SREBP1 expression and subsequent SREBP1-mediated gene transcription, events that in many instances result in modulation of systemic fatty acid and triglyceride (TG) homeostasis. A series of investigations was designed to uncover novel regulators of SREBP1. Dietary and exogenous addition of UFA has been shown to regulate SREBP function yet, an endogenous source of UFA capable of modulating SREBP remains elusive. Group VIA calcium-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2) releases UFA from the sn-2 position of glycerophospholipids. We hypothesized that iPLA2 provides UFA to suppress SREBP. iPLA2 overexpression and inhibition studies were implemented. iPLA2 inhibition increased SREBP1 expression, SREBP-mediated transcription and the expression of SREBP1 gene targets in vitro. In vivo overexpression of iPLA2 resulted in decreased expression of SREBP1 protein and plasma triglyceride. In contrast, iPLA2 overexpression attenuated SREBP1 expression, SREBP-mediated transcription and expression of SREBP1 targets genes. These data support the hypothesis that iPLA2 generates endogenous UFA that limit SREBP function. Use of a replication-deficient adenovirus 5 (Ad-5) expression vector in the iPLA2 study led to the unexpected observation of hepatic SREBP1 activation following Ad-5 infection. Because of this observation, we tested the hypothesis that replication-deficient Ad-5 might augment lipid synthesis in liver. We demonstrate that first generation Ad-5, a ubiquitous transgene expression vector, induces expression of SREBP1 and its target genes and leads to increases in fatty acid synthesis in vivo and in vitro. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, PX-866, suppressed Ad-5-induced SRBEP1 expression and hypertriglyceridemia implicating the PI3K/Akt pathway in Ad-5 activation of SREBP1. Use of PX-866 led to the discovery of a third mechanism of SREBP1 regulation. In vivo studies demonstrate that PX-866 modulates basal lipid metabolism in part through decreasing plasma TG, an increased trend toward decreased SREBP1 expression and a significant increase in plasma cholesterol. These studies characterize three distinct novel regulatory mechanisms of SREBP1.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008