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J Hepatol. 2014 Nov;61(5):1151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.06.032. Epub 2014 Jul 6.

Thioredoxin-interacting protein mediates hepatic lipogenesis and inflammation via PRMT1 and PGC-1α regulation in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Metabolism and Functionality Research Group, R & D Division, World Institute of Kimchi, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospital, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Immunotherapy Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejon, Republic of Korea.
  • 6Laboratory Animal Resource Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea.
  • 7College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) regulates the cellular redox state and metabolism and has been linked to many diseases, including diabetes. Therefore, we examined the role of TXNIP in hepatic steatosis in vitro and in vivo.


Lipogenic and inflammatory proteins produced by hepatocytes treated with palmitic acid (PA) or transfected with TXNIP or Txnip siRNA were measured by Western blotting. Lipid accumulation was assessed using Oil Red O staining. Protein interactions were assessed by immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assay. Hepatic protein levels were measured by Western blotting from wild type or Txnip(-/-) mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or chow diet. Livers from NAFLD patients were compared with normal liver by immunohistochemistry.


PA increased TXNIP, and inflammatory and lipogenic proteins in both AML12 and H4IIE cells. It also increased the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator-1α (PGC-1α), which mediated the expression of lipogenic markers and lipid accumulation. In addition, PA increased protein arginine methyltransferase-1 (PRMT1) and PRMT1 siRNA abolished the increase in lipogenic markers with PGC-1α. Furthermore, TXNIP interacted with PRMT1 in PA-treated hepatocytes. In vivo, levels of lipogenic proteins, inflammatory molecules, PGC-1α, and PRMT1 were increased in the livers of HFD mice compared with those fed a chow diet, and were ameliorated in HFD Txnip(-/-) mice. Moreover, TXNIP, PRMT1, and PGC-1α were elevated in the livers of human NAFLD patients.


TXNIP mediates hepatic lipogenesis via PRMT1 and PGC-1α regulation and inflammation in vitro and in vivo, implying that targeting TXNIP and PRMT1 is a potential therapeutic approach for treatment of NAFLD.

Copyright © 2014 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Hepatic steatosis; PGC-1α; PRMT; TXNIP

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