Because insulin increases the activity of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP)-1c and -2, we also examined the effect of SREBPs on hepatic HNF4alpha gene expression and found that, like insulin, ectopic expression of SREBPs decreases the level of hepatic HNF4alpha protein and mRNA both in vitro in primary hepatocytes and in vivo in the liver of C57BL/6 mice. Finally, we use gel shift, chromatin immunoprecipitation, small interfering RNA, and reporter gene analysis to show that SREBP2 binds the human HNF4alpha P1 promoter and negatively regulates its expression.
These data indicate that hyperinsulinemia down-regulates HNF4alpha in the liver through the up-regulation of SREBPs, thereby establishing a link between these two critical transcription factor pathways that regulate lipid and glucose metabolism in the liver.
These findings also provide new insights into diabetes-associated complications such as fatty liver disease.
DOI - Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.) (DOI)