Signalling Pathways Controlling Fatty Acid Desaturation

  • María Cecilia Mansilla
  • Claudia E. Banchio
  • Diego de Mendoza
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 49)


Microorganisms, plants and animals regulate the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) during changing environmental conditions as well as in response to nutrients. Unsaturation of fatty acid chains has important structural roles in cell membranes: a proper ratio of saturated to UFAs contributes to membrane fluidity. Alterations in this ratio have been implicated in various disease states including cardiovascular diseases, immune disorders, cancer and obesity. They are also the major components of triglycerides and intermediates in the synthesis of biologically active molecules such as eicosanoids, which mediates fever, inflammation and neurotransmission. UFAs homeostasis in many organisms is achieved by feedback regulation of fatty acid desaturases gene transcription. Here, we review recently discovered components and mechanisms of the regulatory machinery governing the transcription of fatty acid desaturases in bacteria, yeast and animals.


Desaturase Gene regulation Membrane fluidity Signal transduction Unsaturated fatty acids 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Cecilia Mansilla
  • Claudia E. Banchio
  • Diego de Mendoza
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Microbiologia ySuipacha 531, (S2002LRK)Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasArgentina

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