Mechanism for binding of fatty acids to hepatocyte plasma membranes: Different interpretation

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The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction between fatty acids and plasma membranes from liver cells. We were unable to reproduce the reported effect of heating on the capacity of these membranes to bind [3H]oleate (Stremmel et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1985;82:4–8). In fact, the distribution of [3H]oleate between plasma membranes and unilamellar vesicles of lipids extracted from these membranes was in favor of the lipids, indicating the absence of a detectable amount of binding to a putative fatty acid binding protein in plasma membranes. Radius of curvature of vesicles (125 Å vs 475 Å) had no effect on the partitioning of fatty acid. In addition, the distribution of [3H]oleate between plasma membranes and other phases had the properties of a partition coefficient over a 200‐fold range of [3H]oleate. There was no evidence in this experiment for a binding isotherm, i.e., binding of [3H]oleate at a specific site, superimposed on the nonspecific partitioning of [3H]oleate into the lipids of the plasma membrane. There was no competition between [14C]oleate and [3H]palmitate for entry into plasma membranes. Finally, rates of uptake of [14C]oleate and [3H]palmitate by perfused rat liver were not affected by the presence of the other fatty acid in perfusates. These data indicate that the avidity of hepatocyte plasma membranes for [3H]oleate is a simple consequence of the physical chemical properties of oleate, lipids, and water. The data exclude the idea that the uptake of fatty acids into cells is the result of binding proteins and/or catalyzed reactions at the water‐membrane interface of the cell or within the plane of the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1449
Number of pages3
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology


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