Characterization of critical factors influencing gene expression of two types of fatty acid-binding proteins (L-FABP and Lb-FABP) in the liver of birds

Atsushi Murai, Mitsuhiro Furuse, Kohji Kitaguchi, Kohji Kusumoto, Yuki Nakanishi, Misato Kobayashi, Fumihiko Horio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In avian species, two types of intracellular lipid-binding proteins are abundant in the liver, the liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) and the liver basic fatty acid-binding protein (Lb-FABP). Both FABPs are capable of forming complexes with free fatty acids and bile acids, but the functional distinction between L-FABP and Lb-FABP in avian liver is not fully understood. To gain insights into the functional distinction between L-FABP and Lb-FABP, we investigated the expression of both genes in relation to the pre- and post-hatching development, diurnal cycle and feeding state in the livers of chicken (Gallus gallus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). In chickens, the Lb-FABP mRNA was expressed only in the liver, while the L-FABP was expressed in both liver and intestinal tissues. Only small amounts of the L-FABP and Lb-FABP mRNAs were detected in the liver during chicken embryogenesis, but at the onset of hatching a dramatic increase in mRNA expression was observed for both genes, suggesting that the expression of the L-FABP and Lb-FABP genes is synchronized at developmental stages. Remarkably, the diurnal expression pattern differed between the two genes under a 16L:8D condition in sexually mature quail: L-FABP gene expression transiently increased at the end of the light cycle, whereas Lb-FABP gene expression peaked during the early part of the light cycle and gradually decreased as the dark period approached. We attempted to identify the factors regulating the diurnal gene expression pattern, and found that feeding stimulation was a critical factor inducing Lb-FABP gene expression irrespective of light condition. On the other hand, feeding stimulation only slightly stimulated expression of the L-FABP gene, and was not always its primary determinant. These results suggest that L-FABP and Lb-FABP play different roles in metabolic process during the postprandial state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology


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