E47 modulates hepatic glucocorticoid action

M. Charlotte Hemmer, Michael Wierer, Kristina Schachtrup, Michael Downes, Norbert Hübner, Ronald M. Evans, N. Henriette Uhlenhaut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoids (GCs) are effective drugs, but their clinical use is compromised by severe side effects including hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and obesity. They bind to the Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR), which acts as a transcription factor. The activation of metabolic genes by GR is thought to underlie these adverse effects. We identify the bHLH factor E47 as a modulator of GR target genes. Using mouse genetics, we find that E47 is required for the regulation of hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism by GR, and that loss of E47 prevents the development of hyperglycemia and hepatic steatosis in response to GCs. Here we show that E47 and GR co-occupy metabolic promoters and enhancers. E47 is needed for the efficient recruitment of GR and coregulators such as Mediator to chromatin. Altogether, our results illustrate how GR and E47 regulate hepatic metabolism, and might provide an entry point for novel therapies with reduced side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number306
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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