Activation of Hepatic CREBH-Insig-2a Signaling in the Triglyceride-Lowering Mechanism of R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Xuedong Tong, Qiaozhu Su

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Activation of the sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs), a step regulated by a cluster of ER-resident proteins, Insig-1, Insig-2 and SCAP, is rate limiting in hepatic de novo lipogenesis. We previously reported that feeding R-alpha-lipoic acid (LA) to ZDF (fa/fa) rats improves severe hypertriglyceridemia and lowers abdominal fat mass by inhibiting expression of genes involved in hepatic long-chain fatty acids and triacylglycerol syntheses. In this study, we characterized a novel mechanism of action of LA that explains its triacylglycerol lowering properties. Dietary LA activates liver specific transcription factor cAMP responsive element binding protein H (CREBH), which in turn enhances transcription and translation of Insig-1 and Insig-2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay demonstrated interaction between CREBH and the promoter of Insig-2 but not Insig-1. The increased abundance of Insig-1 and Insig-2 proteins contributes to sequester SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 in the ER and prevents their translocation to the Golgi apparatus where they would become activated. As a consequence, mRNA expression of genes involved in fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, including FASN, ACC, SCD-1, HMGCR and LDL receptor, were significantly decreased in LA-fed animals versus pair-fed controls. Concomitantly, the assembly and secretion of very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) by primary hepatocytes were suppressed in the LA-fed ZDF rats as indicated by the decrease in VLDL-associated apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein E. In vitro, treating a rat McA-RH7777 hepatoma cells with LA (200 micromole) activated CREBH, induced expression of Insig-1 and Insig-2, and hindered the palmitic acid-induced synthesis of triacylglycerol. This study provides new mechanistic insight into the triacylglycerol lowering properties of LA and supports the therapeutic potential of LA against hypertriglyceridemia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A440
Number of pages1
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue numberSuppl_1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2014


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