Activation of hepatic CREBH and Insig signaling in the anti-hypertriglyceridemic mechanism of R-α-lipoic acid

Xuedong Tong, Patricia Christian, Miaoyun Zhao, Hai Wang, Regis Moreau, Qiaozhu Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The activation of sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) is regulated by insulin-induced genes 1 and 2 (Insig-1 and Insig-2) and SCAP. We previously reported that feeding R-α-lipoic acid (LA) to Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats improves severe hypertriglyceridemia. In this study, we investigated the role of cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein H (CREBH) in the lipid-lowering mechanism of LA and its involvement in the SREBP-1c and Insig pathway. Incubation of McA cells with LA (0.2 mM) or glucose (6 mM) stimulated activation of CREBH. LA treatment further induced mRNA expression of Insig-1 and Insig-2a, but not Insig-2b, in glucose-treated cells. In vivo, feeding LA to obesity-induced hyperlipidemic ZDF rats activated hepatic CREBH and stimulated transcription and translation of Insig-1 and Insig-2a. Activation of CREBH and Insigs induced by LA suppressed processing of SREBP-1c precursor into nuclear SREBP-1c, which subsequently inhibited expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis, including FASN, ACC and SCD-1, and reduced triglyceride (TG) contents in both glucose-treated cells and ZDF rat livers. Additionally, LA treatment also decreased abundances of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)-associated apolipoproteins, apoB100 and apoE, in glucose-treated cells and livers of ZDF rats, leading to decreased secretion of VLDL and improvement of hypertriglyceridemia. This study unveils a novel molecular mechanism whereby LA lowers TG via activation of hepatic CREBH and increased expression of Insig-1 and Insig-2a to inhibit de novo lipogenesis and VLDL secretion. These findings provide novel insight into the therapeutic potential of LA as an anti-hypertriglyceridemia dietary molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-928
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Cell signaling
  • Dyslipidemias
  • Sterol regulatory element binding proteins
  • Triglyceride metabolism
  • Very low density lipoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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