Obese, insulin-resistant states are characterized by a paradoxical pathogenic condition in which the liver appears to be selectively insulin resistant. Specifically, insulin fails to suppress glucose production, yet successfully stimulates de novo lipogenesis. The mechanisms underlying this dysregulation remain controversial. Here, we hypothesized that carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP), a transcriptional activator of glycolytic and lipogenic genes, plays a central role in this paradox. Administration of fructose increased hepatic hexose-phosphate levels, activated ChREBP, and caused glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hepatic steatosis in mice. Activation of ChREBP was required for the increased expression of glycolytic and lipogenic genes as well as glucose-6-phosphatase (G6pc) that was associated with the effects of fructose administration. We found that fructose-induced G6PC activity is a major determinant of hepatic glucose production and reduces hepatic glucose-6-phosphate levels to complete a homeostatic loop. Moreover, fructose activated ChREBP and induced G6pc in the absence of Foxo1a, indicating that carbohydrate-induced activation of ChREBP and G6PC dominates over the suppressive effects of insulin to enhance glucose production. This ChREBP/G6PC signaling axis is conserved in humans. Together, these findings support a carbohydrate-mediated, ChREBP-driven mechanism that contributes to hepatic insulin resistance.
Mi-Sung Kim, Sarah A. Krawczyk, Ludivine Doridot, Alan J. Fowler, Jennifer X. Wang, Sunia A. Trauger, Hye-Lim Noh, Hee Joon Kang, John K. Meissen, Matthew Blatnik, Jason K. Kim, Michelle Lai, Mark A. Herman
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.