Hepatocyte ALOXE3 is induced during adaptive fasting and enhances insulin sensitivity by activating hepatic PPARγ

Cassandra B. Higgins, Yiming Zhang, Allyson L. Mayer, Hideji Fujiwara, Alicyn I. Stothard, Mark J. Graham, Benjamin M. Swarts, Brian J. DeBosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The hepatic glucose fasting response is gaining traction as a therapeutic pathway to enhance hepatic and whole-host metabolism. However, the mechanisms underlying these metabolic effects remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate the epidermal-type lipoxygenase, eLOX3 (encoded by its gene, Aloxe3), is a potentially novel effector of the therapeutic fasting response. We show that Aloxe3 is activated during fasting, glucose withdrawal, or trehalose/trehalose analogue treatment. Hepatocyte-specific Aloxe3 expression reduced weight gain and hepatic steatosis in diet-induced and genetically obese (db/db) mouse models. Aloxe3 expression, moreover, enhanced basal thermogenesis and abrogated insulin resistance in db/db diabetic mice. Targeted metabolomics demonstrated accumulation of the PPARγ ligand 12-KETE in hepatocytes overexpressing Aloxe3. Strikingly, PPARγ inhibition reversed hepatic Aloxe3-mediated insulin sensitization, suppression of hepatocellular ATP production and oxygen consumption, and gene induction of PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC1α) expression. Moreover, hepatocyte-specific PPARγ deletion reversed the therapeutic effect of hepatic Aloxe3 expression on diet-induced insulin intolerance. Aloxe3 is, therefore, a potentially novel effector of the hepatocellular fasting response that leverages both PPARγ-mediated and pleiotropic effects to augment hepatic and whole-host metabolism, and it is, thus, a promising target to ameliorate metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJCI insight
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 23 2018


  • Diabetes
  • Hepatology
  • Insulin signaling
  • Metabolism
  • Signal transduction


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