Endotoxin leads to rapid subcellular re-localization of hepatic RXRα: A novel mechanism for reduced hepatic gene expression in inflammation
Texas Children's Liver Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Nuclear Receptor 2004, 2:4 doi:10.1186/1478-1336-2-4Published: 16 August 2004
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment of animals down-regulates the expression of hepatic genes involved in a broad variety of physiological processes, collectively known as the negative hepatic acute phase response (APR). Retinoid X receptor α (RXRα), the most highly expressed RXR isoform in liver, plays a central role in regulating bile acid, cholesterol, fatty acid, steroid and xenobiotic metabolism and homeostasis. Many of the genes regulated by RXRα are repressed during the negative hepatic APR, although the underlying mechanism is not known. We hypothesized that inflammation-induced alteration of the subcellular location of RXRα was a common mechanism underlying the negative hepatic APR.
Nuclear RXRα protein levels were significantly reduced (~50%) within 1–2 hours after low-dose LPS treatment and remained so for at least 16 hours. RXRα was never detected in cytosolic extracts from saline-treated mice, yet was rapidly and profoundly detectable in the cytosol from 1 hour, to at least 4 hours, after LPS administration. These effects were specific, since the subcellular localization of the RXRα partner, the retinoic acid receptor (RARα), was unaffected by LPS. A potential cell-signaling modulator of RXRα activity, c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) was maximally activated at 1–2 hours, coincident with maximal levels of cytoplasmic RXRα. RNA levels of RXRα were unchanged, while expression of 6 sentinel hepatic genes regulated by RXRα were all markedly repressed after LPS treatment. This is likely due to reduced nuclear binding activities of regulatory RXRα-containing heterodimer pairs.
The subcellular localization of native RXRα rapidly changes in response to LPS administration, correlating with induction of cell signaling pathways. This provides a novel and broad-ranging molecular mechanism for the suppression of RXRα-regulated genes in inflammation.