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Cell Cycle. 2012 Jul 15;11(14):2681-90. doi: 10.4161/cc.21019. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

Cyclin D1 inhibits hepatic lipogenesis via repression of carbohydrate response element binding protein and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


Following acute hepatic injury, the metabolic capacity of the liver is altered during the process of compensatory hepatocyte proliferation by undefined mechanisms. In this study, we examined the regulation of de novo lipogenesis by cyclin D1, a key mediator of hepatocyte cell cycle progression. In primary hepatocytes, cyclin D1 significantly impaired lipogenesis in response to glucose stimulation. Cyclin D1 inhibited the glucose-mediated induction of key lipogenic genes, and similar effects were seen using a mutant (D1-KE) that does not activate cdk4 or induce cell cycle progression. Cyclin D1 (but not D1-KE) inhibited the activity of the carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP) by regulating the glucose-sensing motif of this transcription factor. Because changes in ChREBP activity could not fully explain the effect of cyclin D1, we examined hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α), which regulates numerous differentiated functions in the liver including lipid metabolism. We found that both cyclins D1 and D1-KE bound to HNF4α and significantly inhibited its recruitment to the promoter region of lipogenic genes in hepatocytes. Conversely, knockdown of cyclin D1 in the AML12 hepatocyte cell line promoted HNF4α activity and lipogenesis. In mouse liver, HNF4α bound to a central domain of cyclin D1 involved in transcriptional repression. Cyclin D1 inhibited lipogenic gene expression in the liver following carbohydrate feeding. Similar findings were observed in the setting of physiologic cyclin D1 expression in the regenerating liver. In conclusion, these studies demonstrate that cyclin D1 represses ChREBP and HNF4α function in hepatocytes via Cdk4-dependent and -independent mechanisms. These findings provide a direct link between the cell cycle machinery and the transcriptional control of metabolic function of the liver.

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