Objective- The objective of this study was to determine whether and how activation of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) by obeticholic acid (OCA), a clinical FXR agonist, modulates liver low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) expression under normolipidemic conditions. Approach and Results- Administration of OCA to chow-fed mice increased mRNA and protein levels of LDLR in the liver without affecting the sterol-regulatory element binding protein pathway. Profiling of known LDLR mRNA-binding proteins demonstrated that OCA treatment did not affect expressions of mRNA degradation factors hnRNPD (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D) or ZFP36L1 but increased the expression of Hu antigen R (HuR) an mRNA-stabilizing factor. Furthermore, inducing effects of OCA on LDLR and HuR expression were ablated in Fxr-/- mice. To confirm the post-transcriptional mechanism, we used transgenic mice (albumin-luciferase-untranslated region) that express a human LDLR mRNA 3' untranslated region luciferase reporter gene in the liver. OCA treatment led to significant rises in hepatic bioluminescence signals, Luc-untranslated region chimeric mRNA levels, and endogenous LDLR protein abundance, which were accompanied by elevations of hepatic HuR mRNA and protein levels in OCA-treated transgenic mice. In vitro studies conducted in human primary hepatocytes and HepG2 cells demonstrated that FXR activation by OCA and other agonists elicited the same inducing effect on LDLR expression as in the liver of normolipidemic mice. Furthermore, depletion of HuR in HepG2 cells by short interfering RNA transfection abolished the inducing effect of OCA on LDLR expression. Conclusions- Our study is the first to demonstrate that FXR activation increases LDLR expression in liver tissue by a post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism involving LDLR mRNA-stabilizing factor HuR.
View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.311122
View details for PubMedID 30354208
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6206879