Cholesterol homeostasis relies on an intricate network of cellular processes whose deregulation in response to Western type high-fat/cholesterol diets can lead to several life-threatening pathologies. Significant advances have been made in resolving the molecular identity and regulatory function of transcription factors sensitive to fat, cholesterol, or bile acids, but whether body senses the presence of both fat and cholesterol simultaneously is not known. Assessing the impact of a high-fat/cholesterol load, rather than an individual component alone, on cholesterol homeostasis is more physiologically relevant because Western diets deliver both fat and cholesterol at the same time. Moreover, dietary fat and dietary cholesterol are reported to act synergistically to impair liver cholesterol homeostasis. A key insight into the role of protein kinase C-β (PKCβ) in hepatic adaptation to high-fat/cholesterol diets was gained recently through the use of knockout mice. The emerging evidence indicates that PKCβ is an important regulator of cholesterol homeostasis that ensures normal adaptation to high-fat/cholesterol intake. Consistent with this function, high-fat/cholesterol diets induce PKCβ expression and signaling in the intestine and liver, while systemic PKCβ deficiency promotes accumulation of cholesterol in the liver and bile. PKCβ disruption results in profound dysregulation of hepatic cholesterol and bile homeostasis and imparts sensitivity to cholesterol gallstone formation. The available results support involvement of a two-pronged mechanism by which intestine and liver PKCβ signaling converge on liver ERK1/2 to dictate diet-induced cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis. Collectively, PKCβ is an integrator of dietary fat/cholesterol signal and mediates changes to cholesterol homeostasis.
- high-fat/cholesterol diets
- protein kinase Cβ induction
- extracellular/mitogen-activated protein kinase
- hepatic cholesterol homeostasis
- cholesterol associated diseases
- Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society
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