STAT3 sensitizes insulin signaling by negatively regulating glycogen synthase kinase-3β

Akira Moh, Wenjun Zhang, Sidney Yu, Jun Wang, Xuming Xu, Jiliang Li, Xin Yuan Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE-Glucose homeostasis is achieved by triggering regulation of glycogen synthesis genes in response to insulin when mammals feed, but the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. The aim of our study was to examine the role of the signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) in insulin signaling. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-We generated a strain of mice carrying a targeted disruption of Stat3 gene in the liver (L-Stat3 -/- mice). Hepatocytes of the L-Stat3 -/- mice were isolated to establish cell lines for mechanistic studies. Nuclear translocation and DNA-protein interaction of STAT3 was analyzed with immunofluorescent and chromatin immunopre-cipitation methods, respectively. Levels of glucose, insulin, lep-tin, and glucagon were profiled, and putative downstream molecules of STAT3 were examined in the presence of various stimuli in L-Stat3 -/- and control mice. RESULTS-STAT3 was found to sensitize the insulin signaling through suppression of GSK-3β, a negative regulator of insulin signaling pathway. During feeding, both mRNA and protein levels of GSK-3β decreased in Stat3 f/+ mice, which reflected the need of hepatocytes for insulin to induce glycogen synthesis. In contrast, the L-Stat3 -/- mice lost this control and showed a monophasic increase in the GSK-3β level in response to insulin. Administration of GSK-3β inhibitors lithium chloride and L803-mts restored glucose homeostasis and rescued the glucose intolerance and impaired insulin response in L-Stat3 -/- mice. CONCLUSIONS-These data indicate that STAT3 sensitizes insulin signaling by negatively regulating GSK-3β. Inactivation of STAT3 in the liver contributes significantly to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1235
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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    Moh, A., Zhang, W., Yu, S., Wang, J., Xu, X., Li, J., & Fu, X. Y. (2008). STAT3 sensitizes insulin signaling by negatively regulating glycogen synthase kinase-3β. Diabetes, 57(5), 1227-1235.