Hepatic CREB3L3 controls whole-body energy homeostasis and improves obesity and diabetes.

PMID 25233440


Transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes in the liver is the key to maintaining systemic energy homeostasis during starvation. The membrane-bound transcription factor cAMP-responsive element-binding protein 3-like 3 (CREB3L3) has been reported to be activated during fasting and to regulate triglyceride metabolism. Here, we show that CREB3L3 confers a wide spectrum of metabolic responses to starvation in vivo. Adenoviral and transgenic overexpression of nuclear CREB3L3 induced systemic lipolysis, hepatic ketogenesis, and insulin sensitivity with increased energy expenditure, leading to marked reduction in body weight, plasma lipid levels, and glucose levels. CREB3L3 overexpression activated gene expression levels and plasma levels of antidiabetic hormones, including fibroblast growth factor 21 and IGF-binding protein 2. Amelioration of diabetes by hepatic activation of CREB3L3 was also observed in several types of diabetic obese mice. Nuclear CREB3L3 mutually activates the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α promoter in an autoloop fashion and is crucial for the ligand transactivation of PPARα by interacting with its transcriptional regulator, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α. CREB3L3 directly and indirectly controls fibroblast growth factor 21 expression and its plasma level, which contributes at least partially to the catabolic effects of CREB3L3 on systemic energy homeostasis in the entire body. Therefore, CREB3L3 is a therapeutic target for obesity and diabetes.