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JCI Insight. 2018 Aug 23;3(16). pii: 120794. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.120794. eCollection 2018 Aug 23.

Hepatocyte ALOXE3 is induced during adaptive fasting and enhances insulin sensitivity by activating hepatic PPARγ.

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Department of Pediatrics and.
Department of Medicine, Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA.
IONIS Pharmaceuticals, Carlsbad, California, USA.
Department of Cell Biology & Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


The hepatic glucose fasting response is gaining traction as a therapeutic pathway to enhance hepatic and whole-host metabolism. However, the mechanisms underlying these metabolic effects remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate the epidermal-type lipoxygenase, eLOX3 (encoded by its gene, Aloxe3), is a potentially novel effector of the therapeutic fasting response. We show that Aloxe3 is activated during fasting, glucose withdrawal, or trehalose/trehalose analogue treatment. Hepatocyte-specific Aloxe3 expression reduced weight gain and hepatic steatosis in diet-induced and genetically obese (db/db) mouse models. Aloxe3 expression, moreover, enhanced basal thermogenesis and abrogated insulin resistance in db/db diabetic mice. Targeted metabolomics demonstrated accumulation of the PPARγ ligand 12-KETE in hepatocytes overexpressing Aloxe3. Strikingly, PPARγ inhibition reversed hepatic Aloxe3-mediated insulin sensitization, suppression of hepatocellular ATP production and oxygen consumption, and gene induction of PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC1α) expression. Moreover, hepatocyte-specific PPARγ deletion reversed the therapeutic effect of hepatic Aloxe3 expression on diet-induced insulin intolerance. Aloxe3 is, therefore, a potentially novel effector of the hepatocellular fasting response that leverages both PPARγ-mediated and pleiotropic effects to augment hepatic and whole-host metabolism, and it is, thus, a promising target to ameliorate metabolic disease.


Diabetes; Hepatology; Insulin signaling; Metabolism; Signal transduction

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