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J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 25;280(12):12019-27. Epub 2005 Jan 20.

Direct role of ChREBP.Mlx in regulating hepatic glucose-responsive genes.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Enzymes required for de novo lipogenesis are induced in mammalian liver after a meal high in carbohydrates. In addition to insulin, increased glucose metabolism initiates an intracellular signaling pathway that transcriptionally regulates genes encoding lipogenic enzymes. A cis-acting sequence, the carbohydrate response element (ChoRE), has been found in the promoter region of several of these genes. ChREBP (carbohydrate response element-binding protein) was recently identified as a candidate transcription factor in the glucose-signaling pathway. We reported that ChREBP requires the heterodimeric partner Max-like factor X (Mlx) to bind to ChoRE sequences. In this study we provide further evidence to support a direct role of Mlx in glucose signaling in the liver. We constructed two different dominant negative forms of Mlx that could dimerize with ChREBP but block its binding to DNA. When introduced into hepatocytes, both dominant negative forms of Mlx inhibited the glucose response of a transfected ChoRE-containing promoter. The glucose response was rescued by adding exogenous wild type Mlx or ChREBP, but not MondoA, a paralog of ChREBP that can also form a heterodimer with Mlx. Furthermore, dominant negative Mlx blocked the induction of glucose-responsive genes from their natural chromosomal context under high glucose conditions. In contrast, genes induced by the insulin and thyroid hormone-signaling pathways were unaffected by dominant negative Mlx. Mlx was present in the glucose-responsive complex of liver nuclear extract from which ChREBP was purified. In conclusion, Mlx is an obligatory partner of ChREBP in regulating lipogenic enzyme genes in liver.

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