Identification of novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) target genes in mouse liver using cDNA microarray analysis

M. Cherkaoui-Malki, K. Meyer, W. Q. Cao, N. Latruffe, A. V. Yeldandi, M. S. Rao, C. A. Bradfield, J. K. Reddy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Peroxisome proliferators, which function as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα) agonists, are a group of structurally diverse nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogens including the fibrate class of hypolipidemic drugs that induce peroxisome proliferation in liver parenchymal cells. Sustained activation of PPARα by these agents leads to the development of liver tumors in rats and mice. To understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the pleiotropic effects of these agents, we have utilized the cDNA microarray to generate a molecular portrait of gene expression in the liver of mice treated for 2 weeks with Wy-14,643, a potent peroxisome proliferator. PPARα activation resulted in the stimulation of expression (fourfold or greater) of 36 genes and decreased the expression (fourfold or more decrease) of 671 genes. Enhanced expression of several genes involved in lipid and glucose metabolism and many other genes associated with peroxisome biogenesis, cell surface function, transcription, cell cycle, and apoptosis has been observed. These include: CYP2B9, CYP2B10, monoglyceride lipase, pyruvate dehydrogenase-kinase-4, cell death-inducing DNA-fragmentation factor-α, peroxisomal biogenesis factor 11β, as well as several cell recognition surface proteins including annexin A2, CD24, CD39, lymphocyte antigen 6, and retinoic acid early transcript-γ, among others. Northern blotting of total RNA extracted from the livers of PPARα-/- mice and from mice lacking both PPARα and peroxisomal fatty acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX), that were fed control and Wy-14,643-containing diets for 2 weeks, as well as time course of induction following a single dose of Wy-14,643, revealed that upregulation of genes identified by microarray procedure is dependent upon peroxisome proliferation vis-à-vis PPARα. However, cell death-inducing DNA-fragmentation factor-α mRNA, which is increased in the livers of wild-type mice treated with peroxisome proliferators, was not enhanced in AOX-/- mice with spontaneous peroxisome proliferation. These observations indicate that the activation of PPARα leads to increased and decreased expression of many genes not associated with peroxisomes, and that delayed onset of enhanced expression of some genes may be the result of metabolic events occurring secondary to PPARα activation and alterations in lipid metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalGene expression
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Liver DNA microarray analysis
  • Peroxisome proliferator
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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