Palmitate-Induced SREBP1 Expression and Activation Underlies the Increased BACE 1 Activity and Amyloid Beta Genesis

Gurdeep Marwarha, Kate Claycombe-Larson, Jonah Lund, Othman Ghribi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Numerous cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have implicated saturated fat-enriched diets in the etio-pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Emerging evidence shows that saturated fat-enriched diets, such as palmitate-enriched diets, increase amyloid-beta (Aβ) production, the histopathological hallmark of AD. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the deleterious effects of palmitate-enriched diets in the augmentation of Aβ genesis are yet to be characterized. Sterol response element binding protein 1 (SREBP1) is a transcription factor that is modulated by saturated fatty acids, such as palmitate, and consequently regulates the expression of genes that code for proteins involved in almost all facets of lipid metabolism. Herein, we determined the role of changes in SREBP1 expression and transcriptional activity in the palmitate-induced effects on Aβ genesis and BACE1 expression, the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in Aβ biosynthesis. We demonstrate that palmitate-induced SREBP1 activation directly regulates BACE1 expression at the transcriptional level in the mouse hippocampus and mouse Neuro-2a (N2a) neuroblastoma cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies show that palmitate increases the binding of SREBP1 to the Bace1 promoter region in the mouse hippocampus and mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. Ectopic expression of the dominant negative SREBP1 mutant and knocking-down SREBP1 expression significantly reduced the palmitate-induced increase in BACE1 expression and subsequent Aβ genesis in mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. Our study unveils SREBP1 activation as a novel molecular player in the palmitate-induced upregulation of BACE1 expression and subsequent Aβ genesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5256-5269
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • BACE 1
  • Palmitate
  • SREBP1
  • Saturated free fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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