Insulin selectively increases SREBP-1C mRNA in the livers of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes

Iichiro Shimomura, Yuriy Bashmakov, Shinji Ikemoto, Jay D. Horton, Michael S. Brown, Joseph L. Goldstein

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Sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) enhance transcription of genes encoding enzymes of cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis and uptake. In the current experiments, we observed a decline in the mRNA encoding one SREBP isoform, SREBP-1c, in the livers of rats that were rendered diabetic by treatment with streptozotocin. There was no change in the mRNA encoding SREBP-1a, which is derived from the same gene as SREBP- 1c but uses a different promoter. The ratio of SREBP-1c:1a transcripts fell 25-fold from 5:1 in control rats to 0.2:1 in the diabetic animals. The SREBP- 1c mRNA rose nearly to normal, and the 1c:1a ratio increased 17-fold when the diabetic rats were treated for 6 h with insulin. These treatments produced no change in the mRNA for SREBP-2, which is encoded by a separate gene. The SREBP-1c mRNA also fell selectively in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes and rose when the cells were treated with insulin. Considered together with recent data on hepatocytes [Foretz, M., Pacot, C., Dugal, I., et al. (1999) Mol. Cell. Biol. 19, 3760-3768], the current in vivo studies suggest that insulin may stimulate lipid synthesis in the liver by selectively inducing transcription of the SREBP-1c gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13656-13661
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 23 1999



  • Fatty acid metabolism
  • Gene transcription
  • Sterol regulatory element binding proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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