Increased serum levels of lipogenic enzymes in patients with severe liver steatosis

Maria Notarnicola, Giovanni Misciagna, Valeria Tutino, Marisa Chiloiro, Alberto Ruben Osella, Vito Guerra, Caterina Bonfiglio, Maria Gabriella Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lipid metabolism is altered in subjects with liver steatosis. FAS is a key enzyme in de novo lipogenesis and both FAS gene expression and enzymatic activity are primarily regulated by metabolic signals in the liver. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL), the rate-limiting enzyme for the hydrolysis of core triglycerides, plays a pivotal role in lipid metabolism. This study aims to investigate if circulating levels of FAS and LPL could be clinically associated with liver steatosis. Methods. In this work, we present data obtained from a subsample of 94 subjects with liver steatosis enrolled by NUTRIEPA study, a nutritional trial in subjects with liver steatosis. Serum levels of FAS protein and LPL activity were evaluated by ELISA test and by a fluorescent method, respectively. The diagnosis and the degree of liver steatosis were based on laboratory and ecographic measurements. Statistical methods included Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance and Wilcoxon signed-rank test, where appropriate. The χ2 test has been performed to analyse categorical variables. Results: The subjects with severe steatosis had significantly higher serum levels of FAS protein and LPL activity compared to subjects with mild and moderate liver steatosis. Moreover, a positive trend in serum levels of FAS expression from lower to higher degree of steatosis was also detected. Conclusions: We describe a relationship between human liver steatosis and elevated levels of circulating lipogenic enzymes. Increased serum levels of FAS expression and LPL activity could be considered a marker of severe liver steatosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Enzyme activity
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • Lipoprotein lipase
  • Liver steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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