Dysregulation in hepatic lipid synthesis by excess dietary carbohydrate intake is often relevant with the occurrence of fatty liver; therefore, the thorough understanding of the regulation of lipid deposition and metabolism seems crucial to search for potential regulatory targets. In the present study, we examined TAG accumulation, lipid metabolism-related gene expression, the enzyme activities of lipogenesis-related enzymes, the protein levels of transcription factors or genes involving lipogenesis in the livers of yellow catfish fed five dietary carbohydrate sources, such as glucose, maize starch, sucrose, potato starch and dextrin, respectively. Generally speaking, compared with other carbohydrate sources, dietary glucose promoted TAG accumulation, up-regulated lipogenic enzyme activities and gene expressions, and down-regulated mRNA expression of genes involved in lipolysis and small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) modification pathways. Further studies found that sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), a key transcriptional factor relevant to lipogenic regulation, was modified by SUMO1. Mutational analyses found two important sites for SUMOylation modification (K254R and K264R) in SREBP1. Mutant SREBP lacking lysine 264 up-regulated the transactivation capacity on an SREBP-responsive promoter. Glucose reduced the SUMOylation level of SREBP1 and promoted the protein expression of SREBP1 and its target gene stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), indicating that SUMOylation of SREBP1 mediated glucose-induced hepatic lipid metabolism. Our study elucidated the molecular mechanism of dietary glucose increasing hepatic lipid deposition and found that the SREBP-dependent transactivation was regulated by SUMO1 modification, which served as a new target for the transcriptional programmes governing lipid metabolism.