Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor beta/delta (PPARbeta/delta) but not PPARalpha serves as a plasma free fatty acid sensor in liver

Linda M Sanderson, Tatjana Degenhardt, Arjen Koppen, Eric Kalkhoven, Beatrice Desvergne, Michael Müller, Sander Kersten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) is an important transcription factor in liver that can be activated physiologically by fasting or pharmacologically by using high-affinity synthetic agonists. Here we initially set out to elucidate the similarities in gene induction between Wy14643 and fasting. Numerous genes were commonly regulated in liver between the two treatments, including many classical PPARalpha target genes, such as Aldh3a2 and Cpt2. Remarkably, several genes induced by Wy14643 were upregulated by fasting independently of PPARalpha, including Lpin2 and St3gal5, suggesting involvement of another transcription factor. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, Lpin2 and St3gal5 were shown to be direct targets of PPARbeta/delta during fasting, whereas Aldh3a2 and Cpt2 were exclusive targets of PPARalpha. Binding of PPARbeta/delta to the Lpin2 and St3gal5 genes followed the plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration, consistent with activation of PPARbeta/delta by plasma FFAs. Subsequent experiments using transgenic and knockout mice for Angptl4, a potent stimulant of adipose tissue lipolysis, confirmed the stimulatory effect of plasma FFAs on Lpin2 and St3gal5 expression levels via PPARbeta/delta. In contrast, the data did not support activation of PPARalpha by plasma FFAs. The results identify Lpin2 and St3gal5 as novel PPARbeta/delta target genes and show that upregulation of gene expression by PPARbeta/delta is sensitive to plasma FFA levels. In contrast, this is not the case for PPARalpha, revealing a novel mechanism for functional differentiation between PPARs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6257-67
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Fasting
  • Fatty Acids
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Liver
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • PPAR alpha
  • PPAR-beta
  • Peroxisome Proliferators
  • Pyrimidines
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear

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