The activation of liver X receptor (LXR) promotes cholesterol efflux and repression of inflammatory genes with anti-atherogenic consequences. The mechanisms underlying the repressive activity of LXR are controversial and have been attributed to cholesterol efflux or to transrepression of activator protein-1 (AP-1) activity. Here, we find that cholesterol efflux contributes to LXR repression, while the direct repressive functions of LXR also play a key role but are independent of AP-1. We use assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) to show that LXR reduces chromatin accessibility in cis at inflammatory gene enhancers containing LXR binding sites. Targets of this repressive activity are associated with leukocyte adhesion and neutrophil migration, and LXR agonist treatment suppresses neutrophil recruitment in a mouse model of sterile peritonitis. These studies suggest a model of repression in which liganded LXR binds in cis to canonical nuclear receptor binding sites and represses pro-atherogenic leukocyte functions in tandem with the induction of LXR targets mediating cholesterol efflux.
Thomas, D. G., Doran, A. C., Fotakis, P., Westerterp, M., Antonson, P., Jiang, H., … Tall, A. R. (2018). LXR Suppresses Inflammatory Gene Expression and Neutrophil Migration through cis-Repression and Cholesterol Efflux. Cell Reports, 25(13), 3774-3785.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.11.100