The mRNA expression of lipogenic genes Scd-1 and Fas is regulated partly by the insulin-sensitive transcription factor SREBP-1c and liver X receptor alpha (LXRalpha). Compared with normal mice, the increase in the mRNA expression of hepatic Scd-1, Fas, and Srebp-1c was severely attenuated in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha)-deficient mice during the transition from the starved to the re-fed states. The concentration of the membrane-bound form of SREBP-1c was also lower in the livers of the PPARalpha-deficient mice during re-feeding but there was little difference in the concentration of the active, nuclear form, or in the abundance of Insig-2a mRNA. The response of plasma insulin to starvation and re-feeding was normal in the PPARalpha-deficient mice. Rat hepatocytes transfected with an adenovirus encoding a dominant negative form of PPARalpha were resistant to the stimulatory effects of insulin on Fas and Scd-1 mRNA expression in vitro. When LXRalpha was activated in vivo by inclusion of a non-steroidal ligand in the diet, the expression of the mRNA for hepatic Srebp-1c, Fas, and Scd-1 was increased severalfold in mice of both genotypes and resistance associated with PPARalpha deficiency was abolished during re-feeding. However, although re-feeding the LXRalpha ligand induced the immature form of SREBP-1c equally in the livers of both genotypes, the concentration of the nuclear form remained relatively low in the livers of the PPARalpha-deficient mice. We conclude that intact PPARalpha is required to mediate the response of Scd-1 and Fas gene expression to insulin and that this is normally achieved directly by activation of LXRalpha.
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