Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)

SIRT1/HSF1/HSP pathway is essential for exenatide-alleviated, lipid-induced hepatic endoplasmic reticulum stress.

PMID 28439947


Recent studies have indicated that lipid-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a major contributor to the progression of hepatic steatosis. Exenatide (exendin-4), a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, is known to improve hepatic steatosis, with accumulating evidence. In this study, we investigated whether exenatide could alleviate lipid-induced hepatic ER stress through mammal sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and illustrated the detailed mechanisms. Male C57BL/6J mice challenged with a high-fat diet (HFD) were treated with exenatide or normal saline by intraperitoneal injection for 4 weeks. We observed that HFD feeding induced hepatic ER stress as indicated by increased expression of glucose-regulated protein 78, phosphorylated protein kinase-like ER kinase, and phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, while these increases were significantly inhibited by exenatide. Exenatide notably decreased the liver weight and hepatic steatosis induced by HFD challenge. Consistently, in human HepG2 cells and primary murine hepatocytes, exendin-4 also significantly alleviated the ER stress and lipid accumulation induced by palmitate. Importantly, further studies showed that exendin-4 enhanced the binding of heat shock factor 1 to the promoter of heat shock protein (HSP) genes through SIRT1-mediated deacetylation, which then increased the expression of molecular chaperones HSP70 and HSP40 to alleviate hepatic ER stress. Finally, inhibition of SIRT1 by genetic whole-body heterozygous knockout or by lentiviral short hairpin RNA knockdown greatly diminished the effect of exenatide on deacetylating heat shock factor 1, increasing HSP expression and alleviating ER stress and hepatic steatosis in HFD-fed mice. The SIRT1/heat shock factor 1/HSP pathway is essential for exenatide-alleviated, lipid-induced ER stress and hepatic steatosis, which provides evidence for a molecular mechanism to support exenatide and incretin mimetics as promising therapeutics for obesity-induced hepatic steatosis. (Hepatology 2017;66:809-824).