NCoR1 (nuclear receptor corepressor) and SMRT (silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid hormone receptors; NCoR2) are well-recognized coregulators of nuclear receptor (NR) action. However, their unique roles in the regulation of thyroid hormone (TH) signaling in specific cell types have not been determined. To accomplish this we generated mice that lacked function of either NCoR1, SMRT, or both in the liver only and additionally a global SMRT knockout model. Despite both corepressors being present in the liver, deletion of SMRT in either euthyroid or hypothyroid animals had little effect on TH signaling. In contrast, disruption of NCoR1 action confirmed that NCoR1 is the principal mediator of TH sensitivity in vivo. Similarly, global disruption of SMRT, unlike the global disruption of NCoR1, did not affect TH levels. While SMRT played little role in TH-regulated pathways, when disrupted in combination with NCoR1, it greatly accentuated the synthesis and storage of hepatic lipid. Taken together, these data demonstrate that corepressor specificity exists in vivo and that NCoR1 is the principal regulator of TH action. However, both corepressors collaborate to control hepatic lipid content, which likely reflects their cooperative activity in regulating the action of multiple NRs including the TH receptor (TR).
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