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Hepatology. 2013 Sep;58(3):1111-21. doi: 10.1002/hep.26427. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Regulation of cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis by the cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase/steroid response element-binding protein 2/microRNA-33a axis in mice.

Author information

1
Department of Integrative Medical Sciences, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH, USA.

Abstract

Bile acid synthesis not only produces physiological detergents required for intestinal nutrient absorption, but also plays a critical role in regulating hepatic and whole-body metabolic homeostasis. We recently reported that overexpression of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) in the liver resulted in improved metabolic homeostasis in Cyp7a1 transgenic (Cyp7a1-tg) mice. This study further investigated the molecular links between bile acid metabolism and lipid homeostasis. Microarray gene profiling revealed that CYP7A1 overexpression led to marked activation of the steroid response element-binding protein 2 (SREBP2)-regulated cholesterol metabolic network and absence of bile acid repression of lipogenic gene expression in livers of Cyp7a1-tg mice. Interestingly, Cyp7a1-tg mice showed significantly elevated hepatic cholesterol synthesis rates, but reduced hepatic fatty acid synthesis rates, which was accompanied by increased (14) C-glucose-derived acetyl-coenzyme A incorporation into sterols for fecal excretion. Induction of SREBP2 also coinduces intronic microRNA-33a (miR-33a) in the SREBP2 gene in Cyp7a1-tg mice. Overexpression of miR-33a in the liver resulted in decreased bile acid pool, increased hepatic cholesterol content, and lowered serum cholesterol in mice.

CONCLUSION:

This study suggests that a CYP7A1/SREBP2/miR-33a axis plays a critical role in regulation of hepatic cholesterol, bile acid, and fatty acid synthesis. Antagonism of miR-33a may be a potential strategy to increase bile acid synthesis to maintain lipid homeostasis and prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetes, and obesity.

PMID:
23536474
PMCID:
PMC3735649
DOI:
10.1002/hep.26427
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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