Zinc finger protein 407 overexpression upregulates PPAR-target gene expression and improves glucose homeostasis in mice.

Alysse Charrier, Li Wang, Erin Stephenson, Siddharth Gantha, Chih-wei Ko, Colleen Croninger, and David Buchner

American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism 2016. 311: E869-E880.


The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear receptors are central to the pathophysiology and treatment of metabolic disease through their ability to regulate the expression of genes involved in glucose homeostasis, adipogenesis, and lipid metabolism. However, the mechanism by which PPAR is regulated remains incompletely understood. We generated a transgenic mouse strain (ZFP-TG) that overexpressed Zfp407 primarily in muscle and heart. Transcriptome analysis by RNA-Seq identified 1,300 differentially expressed genes in the muscle of ZFP-TG mice, among which PPAR target genes were significantly enriched. Among the physiologically important PPAR? target genes, Glucose transporter (Glut)-4 mRNA and protein levels were increased in heart and muscle. The increase in Glut4 and other transcriptional effects of Zfp407 overexpression together decreased body weight and lowered plasma glucose, insulin, and HOMA-IR scores relative to control littermates. When placed on high fat diet, ZFP-TG mice remained more glucose tolerant than their wild-type counterparts. Cell-based assays demonstrated that Zfp407 synergistically increased the transcriptional activity of all PPAR subtypes, PPAR?, PPAR?, and PPAR?. The increased PPAR activity was not associated with increased PPAR mRNA or protein levels, suggesting that Zfp407 post-translationally regulates PPAR activity. Collectively, these results demonstrate that Zfp407 overexpression improved glucose homeostasis. Thus, Zfp407 represents a new drug target for treating metabolic disease.


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