The expression and function of the GH receptor is critical for the actions of pituitary GH in the intact animal. The role of systemic factors in the reduced expression of the GH receptor and consequent GH insensitivity in pathological states such as sepsis, malnutrition, and poorly controlled diabetes mellitus is unclear. In the current study, we demonstrate that saturated (palmitic and myristic; 50 μM) fatty acids (FA) inhibit activity of the promoter of the major (L2) transcript of the GH receptor gene; unsaturated (oleic and linoleic) FA (200 μM) do not alter activity of the promoter. Comparable effects with palmitic acid and the nonmetabolizable analog bromo-palmitic acid, and failure of triacsin C to abrogate palmitic acids effects on GH receptor expression indicate that this effect is due to direct action(s) of FA. Palmitic acid, but not the unsaturated FA linoleic acid, decreased steady-state levels of endogenous L2 mRNA and GHR protein in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. The effect of FA was localized to two cis elements located approximately 600 bp apart on the L2 promoter. EMSA and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays established that both these cis elements bind the Krüppel-type zinc finger transcription factor, ZBP-89. Ectopic expression of ZBP-89 amplified the inhibitory effect of FA on L2 promoter activity and on steady-state levels of endogenous L2 mRNA in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Mutational analyses of the two ZBP-89 binding sites revealed that both the sites are essential for palmitic acid's inhibitory effect on the L2 promoter and for the enhancing effect of ZBP-89 on palmitic acid-induced inhibition of the L2 promoter. Our results establish a molecular basis for FA-induced inhibition of GH receptor gene expression in the pathogenesis of acquired GH insensitivity in pathological states such as poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and small for gestational age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology