KLF10 transcription factor regulates hepatic glucose metabolism in mice

Diabetologia. 2017 Dec;60(12):2443-2452. doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4412-2. Epub 2017 Aug 23.


Aim/hypothesis: Abnormal activation of hepatic gluconeogenesis leads to hyperglycaemia. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying dysregulated hepatic gluconeogenesis remain to be fully defined. Here, we explored the physiological role of Krüppel-like factor 10 (KLF10) in regulating hepatic glucose metabolism in mice.

Methods: Hepatic KLF10 expression in wild-type C57BL/6J mice, the db/db mouse model of diabetes, the ob/ob mouse model of obesity and high-fat-diet-induced obese (DIO) mice was measured. Adenoviruses expressing Klf10 or Klf10-specific short-hairpin RNA were injected into wild-type C57BL/6J mice, db/db or DIO mice. Expression of gluconeogenic genes in the liver and blood glucose levels were measured. GTTs and pyruvate tolerance tests were performed. The molecular mechanism by which KLF10 regulates hepatic glucose metabolism was explored.

Results: Hepatic KLF10 expression was regulated by nutritional status in wild-type mice and upregulated in diabetic, obese and DIO mice. Overexpression of KLF10 in primary hepatocytes increased the expression of gluconeogenic genes and cellular glucose output. C57BL/6J mice with KLF10 overexpression in the liver displayed increased blood glucose levels and impaired glucose tolerance. Conversely, hepatic KLF10 knockdown in db/db and DIO mice decreased blood glucose levels and improved glucose tolerance. Furthermore, luciferase reporter gene assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that KLF10 activates Pgc-1α (also known as Ppargc1a) gene transcription via directly binding to its promoter region.

Conclusions/interpretation: KLF10 is an important regulator of hepatic glucose metabolism and modulation of KLF10 expression in the liver may be an attractive approach for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: Gluconeogenesis; KLF10; PGC-1α; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Early Growth Response Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Early Growth Response Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / genetics
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Early Growth Response Transcription Factors
  • KLF10 protein, mouse
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Ppargc1a protein, mouse