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PTEN influences insulin and lipid metabolism in bovine hepatocytes in vitro

  • Qinghua Deng (a1), Dehui Ma (a1), Guoquan Sun (a1), Xue Yuan (a1), Zhe Wang (a2) and Guowen Liu (a1) (a2)...


Dairy cows with fatty liver or ketosis display decreased insulin sensitivity and defects in the insulin receptor substrate (IRS)/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a well-known tumor suppressor and also a negative regulator of insulin signaling and peripheral insulin sensitivity. We investigated the hypothesis that PTEN may affect the insulin pathway-mediated hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in dairy cows. Adenovirus vectors that over-express and silence PTEN were constructed, and then transfected into hepatocytes isolated from calves to investigate the effect of PTEN on PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. PTEN silencing increased the phosphorylation of AKT and the expression of PI3K but decreased the phosphorylation of IRS1, which increased the phosphorylation levels of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c). Increased GSK-3β phosphorylation further up-regulated expression of the key enzymes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6-Pase) involved in gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, the expression of SREBP-1c target gene fatty acid synthase (FAS) also increased significantly. We further showed that PTEN over-expression could reverse the above results. PTEN negatively regulates the enzymes involved in hepatic gluconeogenesis and lipid synthesis, which suggests that PTEN may be a therapeutic target for ketosis and fatty liver in dairy cows.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Guowen Liu, Email:


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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
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