The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a potent metabolic regulator and a major drug target. While GR is known to play integral roles in circadian biology, its rhythmic genomic actions have never been characterized. Here we mapped GR's chromatin occupancy in mouse livers throughout the day and night cycle. We show how GR partitions metabolic processes by time-dependent target gene regulation and controls circulating glucose and triglycerides differentially during feeding and fasting. Highlighting the dominant role GR plays in synchronizing circadian amplitudes, we find that the majority of oscillating genes are bound by and depend on GR. This rhythmic pattern is altered by high-fat diet in a ligand-independent manner. We find that the remodeling of oscillatory gene expression and postprandial GR binding results from a concomitant increase of STAT5 co-occupancy in obese mice. Altogether, our findings highlight GR's fundamental role in the rhythmic orchestration of hepatic metabolism.
Keywords: PPARα; STAT5; circadian clock; cistromes; glucocorticoid receptor; glucose and lipid metabolism; high-fat diet; hormones; mouse liver.
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