Identification of mutated Srebf1 as a QTL influencing risk for hepatic steatosis in the spontaneously hypertensive rat

Michal Pravenec, Ludmila Kazdova, Vladimir Landa, Vaclav Zidek, Petr Mlejnek, Miroslava Simakova, Petr Jansa, Jiri Forejt, Vladimir Kren, Drahomira Krenova, Nathan Qi, Jia-Ming Wang, Derrick Chan, Timothy J Aitman, Theodore W Kurtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Approximately 30% of patients with hypertension have hepatic steatosis, and it has recently been proposed that fatty liver be considered a feature of the metabolic syndrome. Obesity, diet, and level of physical activity are likely factors modulating risk for hepatic steatosis, however genetic factors could also influence susceptibility or resistance to fatty liver in hypertensive or normotensive subjects. In genetic studies in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and Brown Norway (BN) rats, we discovered that a variant form of sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (Srebf1 gene, SREBP-1 protein) underlies a quantitative trait locus (QTL) influencing hepatic cholesterol levels in response to a high cholesterol diet. Compared with the BN allele of Srebf1, the SHR allele of Srebf1 includes variants in the promoter and coding regions that are linked to hepatic deficiency of SREBP-1 mRNA and protein, reduced expression of the SREBP-1 target gene stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1, reduced promoter activity for SREBP-1c, and relative protection from dietary induced accumulation of liver cholesterol. Genetic correction of reduced SREBP-1 activity by derivation of congenic and transgenic strains of SHR increased hepatic cholesterol levels, thereby confirming Srebf1 as a QTL influencing hepatic lipid metabolism in the rat. The Srebf1 variant regulating hepatic cholesterol did not appear to affect blood pressure. These findings (1) are consistent with the results of association studies indicating that common polymorphisms affecting SREBP-1 may influence cholesterol synthesis in humans and (2) indicate that variation in Srebf1 may influence risk for hepatic steatosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-53
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty Liver
  • Female
  • Hypertension
  • Liver
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Risk Factors
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1


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