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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 15;276(24):21969-75. Epub 2001 Mar 28.

Involvement of a unique carbohydrate-responsive factor in the glucose regulation of rat liver fatty-acid synthase gene transcription.

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  • 1Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 78712, USA.


Refeeding carbohydrate to fasted rats induces the transcription of genes encoding enzymes of fatty acid biosynthesis, e.g. fatty-acid synthase (FAS). Part of this transcriptional induction is mediated by insulin. An insulin response element has been described for the fatty-acid synthase gene region of -600 to +65, but the 2-3-fold increase in fatty-acid synthase promoter activity attributable to this region is small compared with the 20-30-fold induction in fatty-acid synthase gene transcription observed in fasted rats refed carbohydrate. We have previously reported that the fatty-acid synthase gene region between -7382 and -6970 was essential for achieving high in vivo rates of gene transcription. The studies of the current report demonstrate that the region of -7382 to -6970 of the fatty-acid synthase gene contains a carbohydrate response element (CHO-RE(FAS)) with a palindrome sequence (CATGTGn(5)GGCGTG) that is nearly identical to the CHO-RE of the l-type pyruvate kinase and S(14) genes. The glucose responsiveness imparted by CHO-RE(FAS) was independent of insulin. Moreover, CHO-RE(FAS) conferred glucose responsiveness to a heterologous promoter (i.e. l-type pyruvate kinase). Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that CHO-RE(FAS) readily bound a unique hepatic ChoRF and that CHO-RE(FAS) competed with the CHO-RE of the l-type pyruvate kinase and S(14) genes for ChoRF binding. In vivo footprinting revealed that fasting reduced and refeeding increased ChoRF binding to CHO-RE(FAS). Thus, carbohydrate responsiveness of rat liver fatty-acid synthase appears to require both insulin and glucose signaling pathways. More importantly, a unique hepatic ChoRF has now been shown to recognize glucose responsive sequences that are common to three different genes: fatty-acid synthase, l-type pyruvate kinase, and S(14).

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