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Nat Med. 2004 Feb;10(2):168-74. Epub 2004 Jan 11.

Role of STAT-3 in regulation of hepatic gluconeogenic genes and carbohydrate metabolism in vivo.

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Department of Clinical Molecular Medicine, Division of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


The transcription factor, signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) contributes to various physiological processes. Here we show that mice with liver-specific deficiency in STAT-3, achieved using the Cre-loxP system, show insulin resistance associated with increased hepatic expression of gluconeogenic genes. Restoration of hepatic STAT-3 expression in these mice, using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer, corrected the metabolic abnormalities and the alterations in hepatic expression of gluconeogenic genes. Overexpression of STAT-3 in cultured hepatocytes inhibited gluconeogenic gene expression independently of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha), an upstream regulator of gluconeogenic genes. Liver-specific expression of a constitutively active form of STAT-3, achieved by infection with an adenovirus vector, markedly reduced blood glucose, plasma insulin concentrations and hepatic gluconeogenic gene expression in diabetic mice. Hepatic STAT-3 signaling is thus essential for normal glucose homeostasis and may provide new therapeutic targets for diabetes mellitus.

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