Inhibition of cereblon by fenofibrate ameliorates alcoholic liver disease by enhancing AMPK.

Biochimica et biophysica acta

PubMedID: 26410577

Kim YD, Lee KM, Hwang SL, Chang HW, Kim KJ, Harris RA, Choi HS, Choi WS, Lee SE, Park CS. Inhibition of cereblon by fenofibrate ameliorates alcoholic liver disease by enhancing AMPK. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015;1852(12):2662-2670.
Alcohol consumption exacerbates alcoholic liver disease by attenuating the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK is activated by fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor a (PPARa) agonist, and inhibited by direct interaction with cereblon (CRBN), a component of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Based on these preliminary findings, we investigated that CRBN would be up-regulated in the liver by alcohol consumption and that CRBN deficiency would ameliorate hepatic steatosis and pro-inflammatory responses in alcohol-fed mice by increasing AMPK activity. Wild-type, CRBN and PPARa null mice were fed an alcohol-containing liquid diet and administered with fenofibrate. Gene expression profiles and metabolic changes were measured in the liver and blood of these mice. Expression of CRBN, cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1), lipogenic genes, pro-inflammatory cytokines, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were increased in the Lieber-DeCarli alcohol-challenged mice. Fenofibrate attenuated the induction of CRBN and reduced hepatic steatosis and pro-inflammatory markers in these mice. Ablation of the gene encoding CRBN produced the same effect as fenofibrate. The increase in CRBN gene expression by alcohol and the reduction of CRBN expression by fenofibrate were negated in PPARa null mice. Fenofibrate increased the recruitment of PPARa on CRBN gene promoter in WT mice but not in PPARa null mice. Silencing of AMPK prevented the beneficial effects of fenofibrate. These results demonstrate that activation of PPARa by fenofibrate alleviates alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis and inflammation by reducing the inhibition of AMPK by CRBN. CRBN is a potential therapeutic target for the alcoholic liver disease.