Regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase expression by the farnesoid X receptor

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Apr 1;329(1):391-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.01.141.


The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) functions as an important junction in intermediary metabolism by influencing the utilization of fat versus carbohydrate as a source of fuel. Activation of PDC is achieved by phosphatases, whereas, inactivation is catalyzed by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDKs). The expression of PDK4 is highly regulated by the glucocorticoid and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. We demonstrate that the farnesoid X receptor (FXR; NR1H4), which regulates a variety of genes involved in lipoprotein metabolism, also regulates the expression of PDK4. Treatment of rat hepatoma cells as well as human primary hepatocytes with FXR agonists stimulates the expression of PDK4 to levels comparable to those obtained with glucocorticoids. In addition, treatment of mice with an FXR agonist significantly increased hepatic PDK4 expression, while concomitantly decreasing plasma triglyceride levels. Thus, activation of FXR may suppress glycolysis and enhance oxidation of fatty acids via inactivation of the PDC by increasing PDK4 expression.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Glucocorticoids / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Acetyl-Transferring Kinase
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Lipoproteins
  • PDK4 protein, human
  • Pdk4 protein, mouse
  • Pdk4 protein, rat
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Acetyl-Transferring Kinase
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • Triglycerides
  • farnesoid X-activated receptor
  • Protein Kinases
  • pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Glucose
  • Oxygen