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EMBO J. 2007 Aug 8;26(15):3607-15. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Foxo1 links insulin signaling to C/EBPalpha and regulates gluconeogenesis during liver development.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


C/EBPalpha is a key transcription factor indispensable for the onset of gluconeogenesis in perinatal liver. However, C/EBPalpha was already expressed in fetal liver, suggesting that the expression of C/EBPalpha alone does not account for the dramatic increase of the expression of metabolic genes, and hence an additional factor(s) is expected to function cooperatively with C/EBPalpha in perinatal liver. We show here that expression of Foxo1 was sharply increased in the perinatal liver and augmented C/EBPalpha-dependent transcription. Foxo1 bound C/EBPalpha via its forkhead domain, and Foxo1 bound to the promoter of a gluconeogenic gene, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), in a C/EBPalpha-dependent manner in vivo. Insulin inhibited the expression of PEPCK in a culture of fetal liver cells, and also the C/EBPalpha-dependent transcription enhanced by Foxo1. These results indicate that Foxo1 regulates gluconeogenesis cooperatively with C/EBPalpha, and also links insulin signaling to C/EBPalpha during liver development.

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