ER Stress Inhibits Liver Fatty Acid Oxidation while Unmitigated Stress Leads to Anorexia-Induced Lipolysis and Both Liver and Kidney Steatosis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Diane DeZwaan-McCabe
  • Ryan D Sheldon
  • Michelle C Gorecki
  • Deng-Fu Guo
  • Erica R Gansemer
  • Randal J Kaufman
  • Kamal Rahmouni
  • Gillum, Matthew Paul
  • Eric B Taylor
  • Lynn M Teesch
  • D Thomas Rutkowski

The unfolded protein response (UPR), induced by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, regulates the expression of factors that restore protein folding homeostasis. However, in the liver and kidney, ER stress also leads to lipid accumulation, accompanied at least in the liver by transcriptional suppression of metabolic genes. The mechanisms of this accumulation, including which pathways contribute to the phenotype in each organ, are unclear. We combined gene expression profiling, biochemical assays, and untargeted lipidomics to understand the basis of stress-dependent lipid accumulation, taking advantage of enhanced hepatic and renal steatosis in mice lacking the ER stress sensor ATF6α. We found that impaired fatty acid oxidation contributed to the early development of steatosis in the liver but not the kidney, while anorexia-induced lipolysis promoted late triglyceride and free fatty acid accumulation in both organs. These findings provide evidence for both direct and indirect regulation of peripheral metabolism by ER stress.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Reports
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1794-1806
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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