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Sterol 12α-hydroxylase Aggravates Dyslipidemia by Activating the Ceramide/mTORC1/SREBP1C Pathway via FGF21 and FGF15

Preeti Pathak, John Y L Chiang
Gene Expression 2019 March 19
Sterol 12α-hydroxylase (CYP8B1) is required for synthesis of cholic acid in the classic bile acid synthesis pathway and plays a role in dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. However, the mechanism of the involvement of Cyp8b1 in dyslipidemia and insulin resistance is not known. CYP8B1 mRNA and protein expression are elevated in diabetic and obese ( db/db ) mouse liver. In this study adenovirus-mediated transduction of CYP8B1 was used to study the effect of Cyp8b1 on lipid metabolism in mice. Results show that Ad-Cyp8b1 increased 12α-hydroxylated bile acids and induced sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (Srebp1c)-mediated lipogenic gene expression. Interestingly, Ad-Cyp8b1 increased ceramide synthesis and activated hepatic mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-p70S6K signaling cascade and inhibited AKT/insulin signaling in mice. Ad-Cyp8b1 increased free fatty acid uptake into mouse primary hepatocytes. Ceramides stimulated S6K phosphorylation in both mouse and human primary hepatocytes. In high fat diet-fed mice, Ad-Cyp8b1 reduced fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), activated intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) target gene expression, increased serum ceramides, VLDL secretion, and LDL cholesterol. In high fat diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, Cyp8b1 ablation by adenovirus-mediated shRNA improved oral glucose tolerance, increased FGF21, and reduced liver triglycerides, inflammatory cytokine expression, nuclear localization of Srebp1c and phosphorylation of S6K. In conclusion, this study unveiled a novel mechanism linking CYP8B1 to ceramide synthesis and mTORC1 signaling in dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, via intestinal FXR-mediated induction of FGF15 and liver FGF21. Reducing cholic acid synthesis may be a potential therapeutic strategy to treat dyslipidemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


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