NFIL3 is a negative regulator of hepatic gluconeogenesis

Geon Kang, Hye Sook Han, Seung Hoi Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Nuclear factor interleukin-3 regulated (NFIL3) has been known as an important transcriptional regulator of the development and the differentiation of immune cells. Although expression of NFIL3 is regulated by nutritional cues in the liver, the role of NFIL3 in the glucose metabolism has not been extensively studied. Thus, we wanted to explore the potential role of NFIL3 in the control of hepatic glucose metabolism. Materials/Methods Mouse primary hepatocytes were cultured to perform western blot analysis, Q-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. 293 T cells were cultured to perform luciferase assay. Male C57BL/6 mice (fed a normal chow diet or high fat diet for 27 weeks) as well as ob/ob mice were used for experiments with adenoviral delivery. Results We observed that NFIL3 reduced glucose production in hepatocytes by reducing expression of gluconeogenic gene transcription. The repression by NFIL3 required its basic leucine zipper DNA binding domain, and it competed with CREB onto the binding of cAMP response element in the gluconeogenic promoters. The protein levels of hepatic NFIL3 were decreased in the mouse models of genetic- and diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, and ectopic expression of NFIL3 in the livers of insulin resistant mice ameliorated hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, with concomitant reduction in expression of hepatic gluconeogenic genes. Finally, we witnessed that knockdown of NFIL3 in the livers of normal chow-fed mice promoted elevations in the glucose levels and expression of hepatic gluconeogenic genes. Conclusions In this study, we showed that NFIL3 functions as an important regulator of glucose homeostasis in the liver by limiting CREB-mediated hepatic gluconeogenesis. Thus, enhancement of hepatic NFIL3 activity in insulin resistant state could be potentially beneficial in relieving glycemic symptoms in the metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project (grant no: HI13C1886 ), Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea. S.H.K is also a recipient of a grant from Korea University, Seoul, Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Liver
  • NFIL3
  • Transcriptional repressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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