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Cell Metab. 2010 Jan;11(1):47-57. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2009.11.002.

Circadian clock-coordinated 12 Hr period rhythmic activation of the IRE1alpha pathway controls lipid metabolism in mouse liver.

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Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS UPR, Montpellier, France.


The mammalian circadian clock plays a fundamental role in the liver by regulating fatty acid, glucose, and xenobiotic metabolism. Impairment of this rhythm has been shown to lead to diverse pathologies, including metabolic syndrome. Currently, it is supposed that the circadian clock regulates metabolism mostly by regulating expression of liver enzymes at the transcriptional level. Here, we show that the circadian clock also controls hepatic metabolism by synchronizing a secondary 12 hr period rhythm characterized by rhythmic activation of the IRE1alpha pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum. The absence of circadian clock perturbs this secondary clock and provokes deregulation of endoplasmic reticulum-localized enzymes. This leads to impaired lipid metabolism, resulting in aberrant activation of the sterol-regulated SREBP transcription factors. The resulting aberrant circadian lipid metabolism in mice devoid of the circadian clock could be involved in the appearance of the associated metabolic syndrome.

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