Glucagon-dependent suppression of mTORC1 is associated with upregulation of hepatic FGF21 mRNA translation

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Abstract

Glucagondependent suppression of mTORC1 is associated with upregulation of hepatic FGF21 mRNA translation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 319: E26-E33, 2020. First published May 18, 2020; doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00555.2019.-Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a peptide hormone that acts to enhance insulin sensitivity and reverse many of the metabolic defects associated with consumption of a high-fat diet. Recent studies show that the liver is the primary source of FGF21 in the blood and that hepatic FGF21 expression is upregulated by glucagon. Interestingly, glucagon acts to upregulate FGF21 production by primary cultures of rat hepatocytes and H4IIE and HepG2 hepatocarcinoma cells independent of changes in FGF21 mRNA abundance, suggesting that FGF21 protein expression is regulated posttranscriptionally. Based on these observations, the goal of the present study was to assess whether or not FGF21 mRNA is translationally regulated. The results show that FGF21 mRNA translation and secretion of the hormone are significantly upregulated in H4IIE cells exposed to 25 nM glucagon, independent of changes in FGF21 mRNA abundance. Furthermore, the glucagon-induced upregulation of FGF21 mRNA translation is associated with suppressed activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin in complex 1 (mTORC1). Similarly, the results show that rapamycin-induced suppression of mTORC1 leads to upregulation of FGF21 mRNA translation with no change in FGF21 mRNA abundance. In contrast, activation of mTORC1 by refreshing the culture medium leads to downregulation of FGF21 mRNA translation. Notably, refeeding fasted rats also leads to downregulation of FGF21 mRNA translation concomitantly with activation of mTORC1 in the liver. Overall, the findings support a model in which glucagon acts to upregulate FGF21 production by hepatocytes through suppression of mTORC1 and subsequent upregulation of FGF21 mRNA translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E26-E33
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume319
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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