Orphan nuclear receptor DAX-1 acts as a novel corepressor of liver X receptor alpha and inhibits hepatic lipogenesis.
DAX-1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal adrenal hypoplasia congenital critical region on X chromosome, gene 1) is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that can repress diverse nuclear receptors and has a key role in adreno-gonadal development. Our previous report has demonstrated that DAX-1 can inhibit hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha transactivity and negatively regulate gluconeogenic gene expression (Nedumaran, B., Hong, S., Xie, Y. B., Kim, Y. H., Seo, W. Y., Lee, M. W., Lee, C. H., Koo, S. H., and Choi, H. S. (2009) J. Biol. Chem. 284, 27511-27523). Here, we further expand the role of DAX-1 in hepatic energy metabolism. Transfection assays have demonstrated that DAX-1 can inhibit the transcriptional activity of nuclear receptor liver X receptor alpha (LXRalpha). Physical interaction between DAX-1 and LXRalpha was confirmed Immunofluorescent staining in mouse liver shows that LXRalpha and DAX-1 are colocalized in the nucleus. Domain mapping analysis shows that the entire region of DAX-1 is involved in the interaction with the ligand binding domain region of LXRalpha. Competition analyses demonstrate that DAX-1 competes with the coactivator SRC-1 for repressing LXRalpha transactivity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that endogenous DAX-1 recruitment on the SREBP-1c gene promoter was decreased in the presence of LXRalpha agonist. Overexpression of DAX-1 inhibits T7-induced LXRalpha target gene expression, whereas knockdown of endogenous DAX-1 significantly increases T7-induced LXRalpha target gene expression in HepG2 cells. Finally, overexpression of DAX-1 in mouse liver decreases T7-induced LXRalpha target gene expression, liver triglyceride level, and lipid accumulation. Overall, this study suggests that DAX-1, a novel corepressor of LXRalpha, functions as a negative regulator of lipogenic enzyme gene expression in liver.