In liver, glucose utilization and lipid synthesis are inextricably intertwined. When glucose availability exceeds its utilization, lipogenesis increases, leading to increased intrahepatic lipid content and lipoprotein secretion. Although the fate of three-carbon metabolites is largely determined by flux rate through the relevant enzymes, insulin plays a permissive role in this process. But the mechanism integrating insulin receptor signaling to glucose utilization with lipogenesis is unknown. Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), a downstream effector of insulin signaling, plays a central role in hepatic glucose metabolism through the regulation of hepatic glucose production. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which FoxO1 integrates hepatic glucose utilization with lipid synthesis. We show that FoxO1 overexpression in hepatocytes reduces activity of carbohydrate response element binding protein (Chrebp), a key regulator of lipogenesis, by suppressing O-linked glycosylation and reducing the protein stability. FoxO1 inhibits high glucose- or O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT)-induced liver-pyruvate kinase (L-PK) promoter activity by decreasing Chrebp recruitment to the L-PK promoter. Conversely, FoxO1 ablation in liver leads to the enhanced O-glycosylation and increased protein level of Chrebp owing to decreased its ubiquitination. We propose that FoxO1 regulation of Chrebp O-glycosylation is a mechanism linking hepatic glucose utilization with lipid synthesis.
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