by Adrija Kalvisa, Majken S. Siersbæk, Stine M. Præstholm, Line J. L. Christensen, Ronni Nielsen, Oliver Stohr, Sabine Vettorazzi, Jan Tuckermann, Morris White, Susanne Mandrup, Lars Grøntved

Hepatic circadian gene transcription is tightly coupled to feeding behavior, which has a profound impact on metabolic disorders associated with diet-induced obesity. Here, we describe a genomics approach to uncover mechanisms controlling hepatic postprandial gene expression. Combined transcriptomic and cistromic analysis identified hundreds of circadian-regulated genes and enhancers controlled by feeding. Postprandial suppression of enhancer activity was associated with reduced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and Forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) occupancy of chromatin correlating with reduced serum corticosterone levels and increased serum insulin levels. Despite substantial co-occupancy of feeding-regulated enhancers by GR and FOXO1, selective disruption of corticosteroid and/or insulin signaling resulted in dysregulation of specific postprandial regulated gene programs. In combination, these signaling pathways operate a major part of the genes suppressed by feeding. Importantly, the feeding response was disrupted in diet-induced obese animals, which was associated with dysregulation of several corticosteroid- and insulin-regulated genes, providing mechanistic insights to dysregulated circadian gene transcription associated with obesity.

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