Fatty acid synthase (FAS), one of the main lipogenic enzymes, converts dietary calories into a storage form of energy. The transcription factors, stimulatory proteins 1 and 3 (Sp1 and Sp3), nuclear factor Y (NF-Y), upstream stimulatory factor (USF) and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (SREBP-1) have cognate binding sites on the promoter of the FAS gene. It was shown that Sp1 and NF-Y interact co-operatively at the diet-induced DNase I-hypersensitive site at position —500. Adjacent binding sites for NF-Y and Sp1 have also been found between —71 and —52, and —91 and —83. cAMP regulation is mediated via the inverted CAAT element (ICE) at —99 to —92, which binds NF-Y. The FAS insulin-responsive element 3 (FIRE3)-binding site at —71 to —52 is capable of binding NF-Y, USF and SREBP-1, and is required for the sterol response in conjunction with the co-activator NF-Y around —100. Surprisingly, both FIRE3 and ICE are also necessary for the response to retinoic acid that plays a role in development and is an essential component of the diet.

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