Liver X receptor-retinoid X receptor (LXR-RXR) heterodimer cistrome reveals coordination of LXR and AP1 signaling in keratinocytes

Qi Shen, Yuchen Bai, Ken C.N. Chang, Yongjun Wang, Thomas P. Burris, Leonard P. Freedman, Catherine C. Thompson, Sunil Nagpal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Liver X receptors (LXRs) play a critical role in regulating lipid synthesis and transport in numerous tissues. In the skin, activation of LXR induces keratinocyte differentiation and improves epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis. To elucidate the mechanism of LXR action in skin, we mapped its cistrome by identifying LXRβ-RXRα binding sites using ChIP-on-chip in normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs). The cistrome was integrated with transcription data to obtain a global view of LXR action in keratinocyte biology. Here, we identify 2035 LXRβ-RXRα binding sites containing 4794 LXR response elements in NHEKs and show the presence of consensus heterodimer active regions in genes involved in keratinocyte lipid transport/synthesis and terminal differentiation. Bioinformatics analysis of the cistrome revealed an enrichment of AP1 cisregulatory motifs in the vicinity of the LXRβ-RXRα binding sites. Importantly, we have demonstrated a direct interaction between LXR and Jun/Fos, indicating that the cooperation between LXR and AP1 may orchestrate keratinocyte differentiation. Finally, we corroborated these results by genome-wide mapping of the c-Fos and c-Jun cistromes in NHEKs, demonstrating that 77% of all the LXRβ-RXRα binding regions show the presence of AP1 motifs at adjacent locations. Our findings provide new insight into the mechanism of LXR action in keratinocyte differentiation, lipid production and barrier formation, further strengthening the validation of LXR as a potential therapeutic target for skin disorders including skin aging, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14554-14563
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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