Modulation of adipocyte differentiation by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids involves the ubiquitin-proteasome system

Cezary Wójcik, Kimberly Lohe, Chenzhong Kuang, Yan Xiao, Zeida Jouni, Eduard Poels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


We have evaluated the effects of three different omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) - docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) on fat accumulation and expression of adipogenic and inflammatory markers using both 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes and differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Our results indicate that ω-3 PUFAs induce the degradation of fatty acid synthase through the ubiquitin-proteasome system, which is likely to have beneficial metabolic effect on adipose cells. Omega-3 PUFAs also increase overall levels of polyubiquitinated proteins, at least in part through decreasing the expression of proteasome subunits. Moreover, adipocytes are resistant to proteasome inhibition, which induces adipophilin while decreasing perilipin expression. On the other hand, ω-3 PUFAs decrease expression of SREBP1 while inducing expression of adipophilin and GLUT4. Moreover, all three ω-3 PUFAs appear to induce tumour necrosis factor-α without affecting NFκB levels. All three ω-3 PUFAs appear to have overall similar effects. Further research is needed to elucidate their mechanism of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-599
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cellular and molecular medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • 3T3-L1 cells
  • DHA
  • DPA
  • EPA
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • Proteasome
  • Ubiquitin
  • ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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