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Mol Endocrinol. 2003 Jul;17(7):1240-54. Epub 2003 May 1.

Cross-talk between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha and liver X receptor (LXR) in nutritional regulation of fatty acid metabolism. I. PPARs suppress sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c promoter through inhibition of LXR signaling.

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Department of Metabolic Diseases, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.


Liver X receptors (LXRs) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are members of nuclear receptors that form obligate heterodimers with retinoid X receptors (RXRs). These nuclear receptors play crucial roles in the regulation of fatty acid metabolism: LXRs activate expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c), a dominant lipogenic gene regulator, whereas PPARalpha promotes fatty acid beta-oxidation genes. In the current study, effects of PPARs on the LXR-SREBP-1c pathway were investigated. Luciferase assays in human embryonic kidney 293 cells showed that overexpression of PPARalpha and gamma dose-dependently inhibited SREBP-1c promoter activity induced by LXR. Deletion and mutation studies demonstrated that the two LXR response elements (LXREs) in the SREBP-1c promoter region are responsible for this inhibitory effect of PPARs. Gel shift assays indicated that PPARs reduce binding of LXR/RXR to LXRE. PPARalpha-selective agonist enhanced these inhibitory effects. Supplementation with RXR attenuated these inhibitions by PPARs in luciferase and gel shift assays, implicating receptor interaction among LXR, PPAR, and RXR as a plausible mechanism. Competition of PPARalpha ligand with LXR ligand was observed in LXR/RXR binding to LXRE in gel shift assay, in LXR/RXR formation in nuclear extracts by coimmunoprecipitation, and in gene expression of SREBP-1c by Northern blot analysis of rat primary hepatocytes and mouse liver RNA. These data suggest that PPARalpha activation can suppress LXR-SREBP-1c pathway through reduction of LXR/RXR formation, proposing a novel transcription factor cross-talk between LXR and PPARalpha in hepatic lipid homeostasis.

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