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J Biol Chem. 1999 Oct 15;274(42):30028-32.

Increased levels of nuclear SREBP-1c associated with fatty livers in two mouse models of diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235-9046, USA.


Hepatic steatosis is common in non-insulin-dependent diabetes and can be associated with fibrosis and cirrhosis in a subset of individuals. Increased rates of fatty acid synthesis have been reported in livers from rodent models of diabetes and may contribute to the development of steatosis. Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are a family of regulated transcription factors that stimulate lipid synthesis in liver. In the current studies, we measured the content of SREBPs in livers from two mouse models of diabetes, obese ob/ob mice and transgenic aP2-SREBP-1c436 (aP2-SREBP-1c) mice that overexpress nuclear SREBP-1c only in adipose tissue. The aP2-SREBP-1c mice exhibit a syndrome that resembles congenital generalized lipodystrophy in humans. Both lines of mice develop hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, and hepatic steatosis. Nuclear SREBP-1c protein levels were significantly elevated in livers from ob/ob and aP2-SREBP-1c mice compared with wild-type mice. Increased nuclear SREBP-1c protein was associated with elevated mRNA levels for known SREBP target genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis, which led to significantly higher rates of hepatic fatty acid synthesis in vivo. These studies suggest that increased levels of nuclear SREBP-1c contribute to the elevated rates of hepatic fatty acid synthesis that leads to steatosis in diabetic mice.

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