STAT3 Targets the Regulatory Regions of Gluconeogenic Genes in Vivo

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Abstract

The regulation of expression of gluconeogenic genes including glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) in the liver plays an important role in glucose homeostasis, because aberrant expression of these genes contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. Previous reports demonstrate that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) plays a key role in regulating gluconeogenic gene expression, but the mechanism remains unclear. Herein we demonstrate that phosphorylated STAT3 is required for repression of G6Pase expression by IL-6 in both HepG2 cells and mouse liver. Interestingly, PEPCK expression is regulated by STAT3 independent of IL-6 activation. Using in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrate that STAT3 binds to the promoters of the G6Pase, PEPCK, and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)3 genes, and its recruitment increases at the G6Pase and SOCS3 promoters with IL-6 treatment. Whereas persistent recruitment of RNA polymerase II is seen on the SOCS3 promoter, consistent with its induction by IL-6, a decrease in polymerase II recruitment and histone H4 acetylation is seen at the G6Pase promoter with IL-6 treatment. Thus STAT3 mediates negative regulation of hepatic gluconeogenic gene expression in vivo by interacting with regulatory regions of these genes.

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