Transcription coactivator mediator subunit MED1 Is required for the development of fatty liver in the mouse

Liang Bai, Yuzhi Jia, Navin Viswakarma, Jiansheng Huang, Aurore Vluggens, Nathan E. Wolins, Nadereh Jafari, M. Sambasiva Rao, Jayme Borensztajn, Gongshe Yang, Janardan K. Reddy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), a nuclear receptor, when overexpressed in liver stimulates the induction of adipocyte-specific and lipogenesis-related genes and causes hepatic steatosis. We report here that Mediator 1 (MED1; also known as PBP or TRAP220), a key subunit of the Mediator complex, is required for high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis as well as PPARγ-stimulated adipogenic hepatic steatosis. Mediator forms the bridge between transcriptional activators and RNA polymerase II. MED1 interacts with nuclear receptors such as PPARγ and other transcriptional activators. Liver-specific MED1 knockout (MED1ΔLiv) mice, when fed a high-fat (60% kcal fat) diet for up to 4 months failed to develop fatty liver. Similarly, MED1ΔLiv mice injected with adenovirus-PPARγ (Ad/PPARγ) by tail vein also did not develop fatty liver, whereas mice with MED1 (MED1fl/fl) fed a high-fat diet or injected with Ad/PPARγ developed severe hepatic steatosis. Gene expression profiling and northern blot analyses of Ad/PPARγ-injected mouse livers showed impaired induction in MED1ΔLiv mouse liver of adipogenic markers, such as aP2, adipsin, adiponectin, and lipid droplet-associated genes, including caveolin-1, CideA, S3-12, and others. These adipocyte-specific and lipogenesis-related genes are strongly induced in MED1fl/fl mouse liver in response to Ad/PPARγ. Re-expression of MED1 using adenovirally-driven MED1 (Ad/MED1) in MED1ΔLiv mouse liver restored PPARγ-stimulated hepatic adipogenic response. These studies also demonstrate that disruption of genes encoding other coactivators such as SRC-1, PRIC285, PRIP, and PIMT had no effect on hepatic adipogenesis induced by PPARγ overexpression. Conclusion: We conclude that transcription coactivator MED1 is required for high-fat diet-induced and PPARγ-stimulated fatty liver development, which suggests that MED1 may be considered a potential therapeutic target for hepatic steatosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1174
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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