The role of posttranscriptional metabolic gene regulatory programs in diabetes is not well understood. Here, we show that the RNA-binding protein tristetraprolin (TTP) is reduced in the livers of diabetic mice and humans and is transcriptionally induced in response to insulin treatment in murine livers in vitro and in vivo. Liver-specific Ttp-KO (lsTtp-KO) mice challenged with high-fat diet (HFD) have improved glucose tolerance and peripheral insulin sensitivity compared with littermate controls. Analysis of secreted hepatic factors demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is posttranscriptionally repressed by TTP. Consistent with increased FGF21, lsTtp-KO mice fed HFD have increased brown fat activation, peripheral tissue glucose uptake, and adiponectin production compared with littermate controls. Downregulation of hepatic Fgf21 via an adeno-associated virus–driven shRNA in mice fed HFD reverses the insulin-sensitizing effects of hepatic Ttp deletion. Thus, hepatic TTP posttranscriptionally regulates systemic insulin sensitivity in diabetes through liver-derived FGF21.


Konrad T. Sawicki, Hsiang-Chun Chang, Jason S. Shapiro, Marina Bayeva, Adam De Jesus, Brian N. Finck, Jason A. Wertheim, Perry J. Blackshear, Hossein Ardehali


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