Hepatic ATF6 increases fatty acid oxidation to attenuate hepatic steatosis in mice through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α

Xuqing Chen, Feifei Zhang, Qi Gong, Aoyuan Cui, Shu Zhuo, Zhimin Hu, Yamei Han, Jing Gao, Yixuan Sun, Zhengshuai Liu, Zhongnan Yang, Yingying Le, Xianfu Gao, Lily Q Dong, Xin Gao, Yu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


The endoplasmic reticulum quality control protein activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) has emerged as a novel metabolic regulator. Here, we show that adenovirusmediated overexpression of the dominant-negative form of ATF6 (dnATF6) increases susceptibility to develop hepatic steatosis in diet-induced insulin-resistant mice and fasted mice. Overexpression of dnATF6 or small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of ATF6 decreases the transcriptional activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα)/retinoid X receptor complex, and inhibits oxygen consumption rates in hepatocytes, possibly through inhibition of the binding of PPARα to the promoter of its target gene. Intriguingly, ATF6 physically interacts with PPARα, enhances the transcriptional activity of PPARα, and triggers activation of PPARa downstream targets, such as CPT1α and MCAD, in hepatocytes. Furthermore, hepatic overexpression of the active form of ATF6 promotes hepatic fatty acid oxidation and protects against hepatic steatosis in diet-induced insulin-resistant mice. These data delineate the mechanism by which ATF6 controls the activity of PPARα and hepatic mitochondria fatty acid oxidation. Therefore, strategies to activate ATF6 could be used as an alternative avenue to improve liver function and treat hepatic steatosis in obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1904-1915
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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