Diabetes Risk Gene and Wnt Effector Tcf7l2/TCF4 Controls Hepatic Response to Perinatal and Adult Metabolic Demand

S.F. Boj, J.H. van Es, M. Huch, V.S. Li, A. Jose, P. Hatzis, M. Mokry, A. Haegebarth, M. van den Born, P. Chambon, P. Voshol, Y. Dor, E. Cuppen, C. Fillat, H. Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Most studies on TCF7L2 SNP variants in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) focus on a role of the encoded transcription factor TCF4 in beta cells. Here, a mouse genetics approach shows that removal of TCF4 from beta cells does not affect their function, whereas manipulating TCF4 levels in the liver has major effects on metabolism. In Tcf7l2(-/-) mice, the immediate postnatal surge in liver metabolism does not occur. Consequently, pups die due to hypoglycemia. By combining chromatin immunoprecipitation with gene expression profiling, we identify a TCF4-controlled metabolic gene program that is acutely activated in the postnatal liver. In concordance, adult liver-specific Tcf7l2 knockout mice show reduced hepatic glucose production during fasting and display improved glucose homeostasis when maintained on high-fat diet. Furthermore, liver-specific TCF4 overexpression increases hepatic glucose production. These observations imply that TCF4 directly activates metabolic genes and that inhibition of Wnt signaling may be beneficial in metabolic disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1607
JournalCell
Volume151
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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