Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD-1) is the rate-limiting enzyme that catalyses the conversion of saturated to monounsaturated fatty acids. Increased SCD-1 expression and activity have been implicated in cancer, cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance and obesity. Studies with humans, wild-type rodents, knock-out mice and cells in culture show that SCD-1 inhibition decreases lipogenesis and increases GLUT4-mediated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. In this review, we will evaluate the role of SCD-1 as a homeostatic check-point between glucose and fatty acid metabolism in the development and progression of obesity. In addition to the role of SCD-1 in glucose and fatty acid metabolism, we will also discuss the expression and regulation of SCD-1, its specific interactions with inflammatory responses and PPARs, the role of SCD-1 derived MUFAs in obesity and the relevance of SCD desaturation index as a predictor of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Additionally, we will explore the prospects of SCD-1 as a potential drug target for the management of obesity and related disorders.
Keywords: Stearoyl-CoA desaturase, SCD-1, metabolic syndrome, PPAR, desaturation index, MUFA, obesity, catalyses, fatty acids, insulin resistance, lipogenesis, skeletal muscle, glucose
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