Mapping MKP-3/FOXO1 Interaction and Evaluating the Effect on Gluconeogenesis
MAP kinase phosphatase 3 (MKP-3) is known to attenuate the ERK signaling pathway. It has been recently demonstrated that MKP-3 is also a player in promoting hepatic glucose output in obese state by interacting and activating FOXO1. Reduction of hepatic MKP-3 expression is sufficient to reduce blood glucose levels in both diet-induced and genetically obese mice.
In current study, the mechanism of MKP-3/FOXO1 interaction and the effects on transcription of gluconeogenic gene and glucose output was investigated in Fao hepatoma cells by using mutated MKP-3 and FOXO1 adenoviral constructs. The results indicate that MKP-3 phosphatase activity is not required for MKP-3/FOXO1 interaction but is essential for FOXO1 nuclear translocation and MKP-3 promoted gluconeogenesis. Compared to GFP control (1±0.38), MKP-3 increased G6Pase gene expression by 242% (3.42±0.62) while inactive MKP-3 does not change G6Pase expression (0.98±0.17). The residues 200–260 of MKP-3 and the residues 360–456 of FOXO1 are essential for mediating MKP-3/FOXO1 interaction. Interestingly, ERK phosphorylation deficient but not Akt phosphorylation deficient FOXO1 mutant lost interaction with MKP-3. Furthermore, in vivo experiments showed that Akt phosphorylation resistant FOXO1 3A mutant is sufficient to rescue the hypoglycemia caused by MKP-3 knock down in the liver of lean mice (from 141±6.78 to 209±14.64 mg/dL).
1) Critical residues mediating MKP-3/FOXO1 interaction have been identified; 2) ERK phosphorylation deficient FOXO1 mutant is as potent as Akt phosphorylation deficient FOXO1 mutant in activating transcription of gluconeogenic genes; 3) Constitutively active FOXO1 can rescue the hypoglycemic effect caused by reduced hepatic MKP-3 expression in vivo.