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Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is altered in metabolic disorders and cancer. Conventional FAS null mice die in utero so effects of whole body inhibition of lipogenesis following development are unknown. Inducible global knockout of FAS (iFASKO) in mice was lethal due to a disrupted intestinal barrier and leukopenia. Conditional loss of FAS was associated with the selective suppression of granulopoiesis without disrupting granulocytic differentiation. Transplantation of iFASKO bone marrow into wild type mice followed by Cre induction resulted in selective neutrophil depletion but not death. Impaired lipogenesis increased ER stress and apoptosis in neutrophils by preferentially decreasing peroxisome-derived membrane phospholipids containing ether bonds. Inducible global knockout of PexRAP, a peroxisomal enzyme required for ether lipid synthesis, also produced neutropenia. FAS knockdown in neutrophil-like HL-60 cells caused cell loss that was partially rescued by ether lipids. Inhibiting ether lipid synthesis selectively constrains neutrophil development, revealing an unrecognized pathway in immunometabolism.


  • Lodhi IJ, Wei X, Yin L, Feng C, Adak S, Abou-Ezzi G, Hsu FF, Link DC, Semenkovich CF. Peroxisomal lipid synthesis regulates inflammation by sustaining neutrophil membrane phospholipid composition and viability. Cell Metab. 2015 Jan 6;21(1):51-64. PMID: 25565205; PMCID: PMC4287274.

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Research Details

  • Research Center: Washington University, St. Louis

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