H. Alex Brown
Principle Investigator; Professor of Pharmacology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry; Associate Director, VICB;
Last active: 2/12/2015

The TMAO-Generating Enzyme Flavin Monooxygenase 3 Is a Central Regulator of Cholesterol Balance.

Warrier M, Shih DM, Burrows AC, Ferguson D, Gromovsky AD, Brown AL, Marshall S, McDaniel A, Schugar RC, Wang Z, Sacks J, Rong X, Vallim TA, Chou J, Ivanova PT, Myers DS, Brown HA, Lee RG, Crooke RM, Graham MJ, Liu X, Parini P, Tontonoz P, Lusis AJ, Hazen SL, Temel RE, Brown JM
Cell Rep. 2015 10 (3): 326-338

PMID: 25600868 · PMCID: PMC4501903 · DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.036

Circulating levels of the gut microbe-derived metabolite trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) have recently been linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Here, we performed transcriptional profiling in mouse models of altered reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) and serendipitously identified the TMAO-generating enzyme flavin monooxygenase 3 (FMO3) as a powerful modifier of cholesterol metabolism and RCT. Knockdown of FMO3 in cholesterol-fed mice alters biliary lipid secretion, blunts intestinal cholesterol absorption, and limits the production of hepatic oxysterols and cholesteryl esters. Furthermore, FMO3 knockdown stimulates basal and liver X receptor (LXR)-stimulated macrophage RCT, thereby improving cholesterol balance. Conversely, FMO3 knockdown exacerbates hepatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammation in part by decreasing hepatic oxysterol levels and subsequent LXR activation. FMO3 is thus identified as a central integrator of hepatic cholesterol and triacylglycerol metabolism, inflammation, and ER stress. These studies suggest that the gut microbiota-driven TMA/FMO3/TMAO pathway is a key regulator of lipid metabolism and inflammation.

Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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