Two treatments, fasting/refeeding and administration of liver X receptor (LXR) agonists, elevate the mRNA for sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and enhance lipid synthesis in liver. These treatments do not affect the mRNA for SREBP-1a, an alternative transcript from the same gene. Through homologous recombination, we eliminated the exon encoding SREBP-1c from the mouse genome, leaving the SREBP-1a transcript intact. On a normal diet, livers of SREBP-1c(-/-) mice manifested reductions in multiple mRNAs encoding enzymes of fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis, including acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). In contrast, SREBP-1c(-/-) livers showed a compensatory increase in hepatic SREBP-2 mRNA, accompanied by increased mRNA levels for cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes. In fasted/refed animals, ACC and FAS mRNAs rose, but not to the same extent as in wild-type livers. The refeeding-induced increase in SREBP-1c(-/-) mice was greater than in mice lacking SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP), in which all nuclear SREBPs are absent. Thus, SREBP-2 and/or SREBP-1a can substitute partially for SREBP-1c in permitting an insulin-mediated increase in ACC and FAS mRNAs. In contrast, mRNAs for several other lipogenic enzymes (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, and stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1) showed a complete failure of the normal inductive response to refeeding, indicating specific reliance on SREBP-1c. Moreover, these mRNAs, as well as multiple other lipogenic mRNAs, showed a markedly blunted response to the LXR agonist T090137, indicating an essential role of SREBP-1c in the LXR response.
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