Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1alpha is an accessory factor required for activation of glucose-6-phosphatase gene transcription by glucocorticoids

DNA Cell Biol. 1998 Nov;17(11):967-74. doi: 10.1089/dna.1998.17.967.


Deficiency of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), a key enzyme in glucose homeostasis, causes glycogen storage disease type 1a (GSD-1a), also know as von Gierke disease. Expression of the G6Pase gene is regulated by multiple hormones, including glucocorticoids. The synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone increased G6Pase mRNA abundance and gene transcription in H4-IIE hepatoma cells. Transient transfection assays demonstrated that the G6Pase promoter was active in H4-IIE cells only in the presence of dexamethasone. The minimal G6Pase promoter was contained within nucleotides -234/+3, which has two putative glucocorticoid response elements (GREs) at nucleotides -178/-164 (site 1) and -154/-140 (site 2). Electromobility shift and transient transfection assays showed that only GRE site 1 was required for glucocorticoid-activated transcription from the G6Pase promoter. Deletion analysis demonstrated that the DNA elements absolutely essential for glucocorticoid-stimulated transcription from the G6Pase promoter were contained within nucleotides -234/-212, encompassing binding motifs for hepatocyte nuclear factors (HNFs) 1 (-226/-212) and 4 (-231/-220). Electromobility shift and cotransfection assays showed that HNF1alpha bound to its cognate site and mediated transcription activation of the G6Pase gene by glucocorticoids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic* / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic* / physiology
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase / genetics*
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha
  • Hnf1a protein, rat
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Transcription Factors
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta
  • Dexamethasone
  • DNA
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase