Tag Archives: Liver

DDB1-Mediated CRY1 Degradation Promotes FOXO1-Driven Gluconeogenesis in Liver

Targeted protein degradation through ubiquitination is an important step in the regulation of glucose metabolism. Here, we present evidence that the DDB1-CUL4A ubiquitin E3 ligase functions as a novel metabolic regulator that promotes FOXO1-driven hepatic gluconeogenesis. In vivo, hepatocyte-specific Ddb1 deletion leads to impaired hepatic gluconeogenesis in the mouse liver but protects mice from high-fat diet–induced hyperglycemia. Lack of Ddb1 downregulates FOXO1 protein expression and impairs FOXO1-driven gluconeogenic response. Mechanistically, we discovered that DDB1 enhances FOXO1 protein stability via degrading the circadian protein cryptochrome 1 (CRY1), a known target of DDB1 E3 ligase. In the Cry1 depletion condition, insulin fails to reduce the nuclear FOXO1 abundance and suppress gluconeogenic gene expression. Chronic depletion of Cry1 in the mouse liver not only increases FOXO1 protein but also enhances hepatic gluconeogenesis. Thus, we have identified the DDB1-mediated CRY1 degradation as an important target of insulin action on glucose homeostasis.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Correcting Postprandial Hyperglycemia in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats With an SGLT2 Inhibitor Restores Glucose Effectiveness in the Liver and Reduces Insulin Resistance in Skeletal Muscle

Ten-week-old Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats at an early stage of diabetes embody metabolic characteristics of obese human patients with type 2 diabetes, such as severe insulin and glucose intolerance in muscle and the liver, excessive postprandial excursion of plasma glucose and insulin, and a loss of metabolic flexibility with decreased lipid oxidation. Metabolic flexibility and glucose flux were examined in ZDF rats during fasting and near-normal postprandial insulinemia and glycemia after correcting excessive postprandial hyperglycemia using treatment with a sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2-I) for 7 days. Preprandial lipid oxidation was normalized, and with fasting, endogenous glucose production (EGP) increased by 30% and endogenous glucose disposal (E-Rd) decreased by 40%. During a postprandial hyperglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp after SGLT2-I treatment, E-Rd increased by normalizing glucose effectiveness to suppress EGP and stimulate hepatic glucose uptake; activation of glucokinase was restored and insulin action was improved, stimulating muscle glucose uptake in association with decreased intracellular triglyceride content. In conclusion, SGLT2-I treatment improves impaired glucose effectiveness in the liver and insulin sensitivity in muscle by eliminating glucotoxicity, which reinstates metabolic flexibility with restored preprandial lipid oxidation and postprandial glucose flux in ZDF rats.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Hepatic DPP4 DNA Methylation Associates With Fatty Liver

Hepatic DPP4 expression is elevated in subjects with ectopic fat accumulation in the liver. However, whether increased dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) is involved in the pathogenesis or is rather a consequence of metabolic disease is not known. We therefore studied the transcriptional regulation of hepatic Dpp4 in young mice prone to diet-induced obesity. Already at 6 weeks of age, expression of hepatic Dpp4 was increased in mice with high weight gain, independent of liver fat content. In the same animals, methylation of four intronic CpG sites was decreased, amplifying glucose-induced transcription of hepatic Dpp4. In older mice, hepatic triglyceride content was increased only in animals with elevated Dpp4 expression. Expression and release of DPP4 were markedly higher in the liver compared with adipose depots. Analysis of human liver biopsy specimens revealed a correlation of DPP4 expression and DNA methylation to stages of hepatosteatosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. In summary, our results indicate a crucial role of the liver in participation to systemic DPP4 levels. Furthermore, the data show that glucose-induced expression of Dpp4 in the liver is facilitated by demethylation of the Dpp4 gene early in life. This might contribute to early deteriorations in hepatic function, which in turn result in metabolic disease such as hepatosteatosis later in life.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Mfn1 Deficiency in the Liver Protects Against Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance and Enhances the Hypoglycemic Effect of Metformin

Mitochondrial function can be influenced by mitochondrial shape and connectivity with other cellular organelles through fusion and fission processes. Disturbances in mitochondrial architecture and mitochondrial fusion-related genes are observed in situations of type 2 diabetes and obesity, leading to a highly fissioned mitochondrial network. To directly test the effect of reduced mitochondrial fusion on hepatic metabolism, we generated mice with a liver-specific deletion of the Mfn1 gene (Mfn1LKO) and monitored their energy homeostasis, mitochondrial function, and susceptibility to diet-induced insulin resistance. Livers from Mfn1LKO mice displayed a highly fragmented mitochondrial network. This was coupled to an enhanced mitochondrial respiration capacity and a preference for the use of lipids as the main energy source. Although Mfn1LKO mice are similar to control mice fed a low-fat diet, they are protected against insulin resistance induced by a high-fat diet. Importantly, Mfn1 deficiency increased complex I abundance and sensitized animals to the hypoglycemic effect of metformin. Our results suggest that targeting Mfn1 could provide novel avenues to ameliorate glucose homeostasis in obese patients and improve the effectiveness of metformin.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Unraveling the Paradox of Selective Insulin Resistance in the Liver: the Brain-Liver Connection

Diabetes Journal current issue





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