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Appetence for sugar: new elements to understand the regulation of a hormone secreted by the liver

Appetence for sugar
A new step has been taken in the understanding of the mechanisms of regulation of the hepatic hormone FGF21 which has various metabolic effects and intervenes in the control of the appetence for sugar.

Teams from Toxalim Research Centre in Food Toxicology (INRA, ENVT, INP Purpan and Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier University) and Institut Cochin (CNRS, Inserm, Paris Descartes University) have been working together for several years to better understand the regulation of expression of the hepatic hormone FGF21 which exerts various metabolic effects and intervenes in the control of the appetence for sugar.

  • The researchers showed by molecular approaches and integrated physiology that the gene coding for FGF21 is activated in opposite situations: fasting (deficiency) but also a glucose intake (caloric intake).
  • In this regulation two signals (two transcription factors: PPARalpha and ChREBP1) are involved to adapt the metabolism of the liver in situations of fasting or intake of glucose.
  • Scientists point out that both signals are essential for the control of FGF21 in response to sugar. Indeed, without PPARalpha, ChREBP can not bind to DNA and positively influence the expression of FGF21.
  • This work also reveals for the first time a physiological role of PPARalpha in food intake situation. It participates with ChREBP in the regulation of sugar preference in vivo.

Since many molecules are capable of activating PPARalpha, these results indicate the potential beneficial effects of certain drugs on dietary behavior (eg in diabetic patients).

Source : Inra Press Release  (in French) 

See also


Iroz et al.A specific ChREBP and PPARα cross-talk is required for the glucose-mediated FGF21 response. Cell reports. 10 october 2017.