Academic Editors: Ulises Gomez-Pinedo and Rafael Franco
Background: The central nervous system (CNS) is enriched in lipids; despite this, studies exploring the functional roles of lipids in the brain are still limited. Sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) signaling is a transcriptomic pathway that predominantly participates in the maintenance of lipid homeostasis; however, its involvement in the CNS dysfunction is not well-established. In this study, we aimed to characterize and pinpoint specific genes of the SREBP pathway which may be implicated in neurodegenerative, neurological, and neuropsychiatric diseases. Methods: In silico bioinformatic analysis was performed using the open-source databases DisGeNET and MSigDB. Protein-protein interaction data were visualized and analyzed using STRING, after which GO (Gene Ontology) and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) enrichment analyses were conducted via DAVID (Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery). Results: Several common genes were identified between the SREBP pathway and CNS disorders. In GO enrichment analysis, the most enriched biological processes included lipid, cholesterol, and steroid biosynthetic processes; the most enriched molecular functions were transcription factor-related; and the most enriched subcellular compartments revealed that the genes involved in CNS disorders were mainly associated with the enzyme complexes of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FASN). In KEGG enrichment analysis, the most enriched pathway was the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway, and the top-ranked genes significantly enriched under this pathway were ACACA, ACACB, FASN, HMGCR, MTOR, PPARGC1A, PRKAA1, SCD, SIRT1, and SREBF1. Conclusions: The findings of this study strengthen the evidence linking the involvement of lipid homeostasis in CNS functions. We suggest herein the roles of downstream ACC and FASN enzymes and upstream AMPK signaling in the SREBP pathway as mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative, neurological, and neuropsychiatric CNS disorders.