From Food to Genes: Transcriptional Regulation of Metabolism by Lipids and Carbohydrates.

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Lipids and carbohydrates regulate gene expression by means of molecules that sense these macronutrients and act as transcription factors. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), activated by some fatty acids or their derivatives, and the carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP), activated by glucose-derived metabolites, play a key role in metabolic homeostasis, especially in glucose and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, the action of both factors in obesity, diabetes and fatty liver, as well as the pharmacological development in the treatment of these pathologies are indeed of high relevance. In this review we present an overview of the discovery, mechanism of activation and metabolic functions of these nutrient-dependent transcription factors in different tissues contexts, from the nutritional genomics perspective. The possibility of targeting these factors in pharmacological approaches is also discussed. Lipid and carbohydrate-dependent transcription factors are key players in the complex metabolic homeostasis, but these factors also drive an adaptive response to non-physiological situations, such as overeating. Possibly the decisive role of ChREBP and PPAR in metabolic regulation points to them as ideal therapeutic targets, but their pleiotropic functions in different tissues makes it difficult to "hit the mark".
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ChREBP, Mondo, PPAR, lipid and glucose metabolism, macronutrient sensing, nutrigenomics, transcriptional regulation