Supplementary Material for: The Role of Intestinal Fatty Acid Binding Proteins in Protecting Cells from Fatty Acid Induced Impairment of Mitochondrial Dynamics and Apoptosis

Background/Aims: The conformation, folding and lipid binding properties of the intestinal fatty acid binding proteins (IFABP) have been extensively investigated. In contrast, the functional aspects of these proteins are not understood and matter of debates. In this study, we aim to address the deleterious effects of FA overload on cellular components, particularly mitochondria; and how IFABP helps in combating this stress by restoring the mitochondrial dynamics. Methods: In the present study the functional aspect of IFABP under conditions of lipid stress was studied by a string of extensive in-cell studies; flow cytometry by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), confocal imaging, western blotting and quantitative real time PCR. We deployed ectopic expression of IFABP in rescuing cells under the condition of lipid stress. Again in order to unveil the mechanistic insights of functional traits, we arrayed extensive computational approaches by means of studying centrality calculations along with protein-protein association and ligand induced cluster dissociation. While addressing its functional importance, we used FCS and in-silico computational analyses, to show the structural distribution and the underlying mechanism of IFABP’s action. Results: Ectopic expression of IFABP in HeLa cells has been found to rescue mitochondrial morphological dynamics and restore membrane potential, partially preventing apoptotic damage induced by the increased FAs. These findings have been further validated in the functionally relevant intestinal Caco-2 cells, where the native expression of IFABP protects mitochondrial morphology from abrogation induced by FA overload. However, this native level expression is insufficient to protect against apoptotic cell death, which is rescued, at least partially in cells overexpressing IFABP. In addition, shRNA mediated IFABP knockdown in Caco-2 cells compromises mitochondrial dynamics and switches on intrinsic apoptotic pathways under FA-induced metabolic stress. Conclusion: To summarize, the present study implicates functional significance of IFABP in controlling ligand-induced damage in mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis.