Farnesoid X receptor induces Takeda G-protein receptor 5 cross-talk to regulate bile acid synthesis and hepatic metabolism

J Biol Chem. 2017 Jun 30;292(26):11055-11069. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.784322. Epub 2017 May 6.


The bile acid-activated receptors, nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and the membrane Takeda G-protein receptor 5 (TGR5), are known to improve glucose and insulin sensitivity in obese and diabetic mice. However, the metabolic roles of these two receptors and the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we studied the effects of the dual FXR and TGR5 agonist INT-767 on hepatic bile acid synthesis and intestinal secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in wild-type, Fxr-/-, and Tgr5-/- mice. INT-767 efficaciously stimulated intracellular Ca2+ levels, cAMP activity, and GLP-1 secretion and improved glucose and lipid metabolism more than did the FXR-selective obeticholic acid and TGR5-selective INT-777 agonists. Interestingly, INT-767 reduced expression of the genes in the classic bile acid synthesis pathway but induced those in the alternative pathway, which is consistent with decreased taurocholic acid and increased tauromuricholic acids in bile. Furthermore, FXR activation induced expression of FXR target genes, including fibroblast growth factor 15, and unexpectedly Tgr5 and prohormone convertase 1/3 gene expression in the ileum. We identified an FXR-responsive element on the Tgr5 gene promoter. Fxr-/- and Tgr5-/- mice exhibited reduced GLP-1 secretion, which was stimulated by INT-767 in the Tgr5-/- mice but not in the Fxr-/- mice. Our findings uncovered a novel mechanism in which INT-767 activation of FXR induces Tgr5 gene expression and increases Ca2+ levels and cAMP activity to stimulate GLP-1 secretion and improve hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Activation of both FXR and TGR5 may therefore represent an effective therapy for managing hepatic steatosis, obesity, and diabetes.

Keywords: FXR; GLP-1; TGR5; bile acid; bile acid metabolism; lipid metabolism; liver metabolism; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; obesity; type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / biosynthesis*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / genetics
  • Dietary Fats
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / genetics
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Dietary Fats
  • Gpbar1 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • farnesoid X-activated receptor
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucose