Transcriptional regulators of hepatic gluconeogenesis

Arch Pharm Res. 2013 Feb;36(2):189-200. doi: 10.1007/s12272-013-0018-5. Epub 2013 Jan 30.


Glucose is a primary fuel for generating energy in basic daily activities. Thus, glucose homeostasis is tightly regulated by counter-regulatory hormones such as glucagon, cortisol, and insulin, which affect key organs including liver, skeletal muscle, pancreas, and adipocytes. Among metabolic tissues, liver plays a critical role in controlling glucose production under various hormonal and metabolic cues. Under fasting, acute activation of both glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis is achieved by post-translational modification or allosteric activation of key rate-limiting enzymes, thereby enabling enhanced glucose production from the liver to maintain glucose homeostasis. More prolonged fasting or starvation leads to the chronic activation of gluconeogenesis that requires increased expression of key enzymes in the pathway, which is turned off under feeding conditions by the molecular events that are initiated by insulin. This process is normally achieved by the regulation of gene expression at the level of transcription. Recently, the transcriptional regulators of hepatic gluconeogenesis are considered as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In this review, we would like to discuss the current knowledge regarding the key transcriptional activators and inhibitors of hepatic gluconeogenic program to provide the better insight into the control of glycemia in the disease status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Gluconeogenesis / genetics
  • Gluconeogenesis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / genetics
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose