Forkhead transcription factors FoxO1/3/4 have pleiotrophic functions including anti-oxidative stress and metabolism. With regard to glucose metabolism, most studies have been focused on FoxO1. To further investigate their hepatic functions, we generated liver-specific FoxO1/3/4 knockout mice (LTKO) and examined their collective impacts on glucose homeostasis under physiological and pathological conditions. As compared to wild-type mice, LTKO mice had lower blood glucose levels under both fasting and non-fasting conditions and they manifested better glucose and pyruvate tolerance on regular chow diet. After challenged by a high-fat diet, wild-type mice developed type 2 diabetes, but LTKO mice remained euglycemic and insulin-sensitive. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we examined the roles of SIRT6 (Sirtuin 6) and Gck (glucokinase) in the FoxO-mediated glucose metabolism. Interestingly, ectopic expression of SIRT6 in the liver only reduced gluconeogenesis in wild-type but not LTKO mice whereas knockdown of Gck caused glucose intolerance in both wild-type and LTKO mice. The data suggest that both decreased gluconeogenesis and increased glycolysis may contribute to the overall glucose phenotype in the LTKO mice. Collectively, FoxO1/3/4 transcription factors play important roles in hepatic glucose homeostasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)