Multi-omics Analysis of the Intermittent Fasting Response in Mice Identifies an Unexpected Role for HNF4α

Cell Rep. 2020 Mar 10;30(10):3566-3582.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.051.


Every-other-day fasting (EODF) is an effective intervention for the treatment of metabolic disease, including improvements in liver health. But how the liver proteome is reprogrammed by EODF is currently unknown. Here, we use EODF in mice and multi-omics analysis to identify regulated pathways. Many changes in the liver proteome are distinct after EODF and absent after a single fasting bout. Key among these is the simultaneous induction by EODF of de novo lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation enzymes. Together with activation of oxidative stress defenses, this contributes to the improvements in glucose tolerance and lifespan after EODF. Enrichment analysis shows unexpected downregulation of HNF4α targets by EODF, and we confirm HNF4α inhibition. Suppressed HNF4α targets include bile synthetic enzymes and secreted proteins, such as α1-antitrypsin or inflammatory factors, which reflect EODF phenotypes. Interactive online access is provided to a data resource (, which provides a global view of fasting-induced mechanisms in mice.

Keywords: HNF4A; SREBP1c; intermittent fasting; liver; metabolomics; plasma; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / biosynthesis
  • Down-Regulation
  • Fasting* / blood
  • Genomics*
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolomics
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / metabolism*


  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4
  • Hnf4a protein, mouse
  • Proteome
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Cholesterol