Crystal structures reveal a new and novel FoxO1 binding site within the human glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit 1 gene promoter

Puja Singh, Eun Hee Han, James A. Endrizzi, Richard M. O'Brien, Young-In Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human glucose-6-phosphatase plays a vital role in blood glucose homeostasis and holds promise as a therapeutic target for diabetes. Expression of its catalytic subunit gene 1 (G6PC1) is tightly regulated by metabolic-response transcription factors such as FoxO1 and CREB. Although at least three potential FoxO1 binding sites (insulin response elements, IREs) and one CREB binding site (cAMP response element, CRE) within the proximal region of the G6PC1 promoter have been identified, the interplay between FoxO1 and CREB and between FoxO1 bound at multiple IREs has not been well characterized. Here we present the crystal structures of the FoxO1 DNA binding domain in complex with the G6PC1 promoter. These complexes reveal the presence of a new non-consensus FoxO1 binding site that overlaps the CRE, suggesting a mutual exclusion mechanism for FoxO1 and CREB binding at the G6PC1 promoter. Additional findings include (i) non-canonical FoxO1 recognition sites, (ii) incomplete FoxO1 occupancies at the available IRE sites, and (iii) FoxO1 dimeric interactions that may play a role in stabilizing DNA looping. These findings provide insight into the regulation of G6PC1 gene transcription by FoxO1, and demonstrate a high versatility of target gene recognition by FoxO1 that correlates with its diverse roles in biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the staff at SER-CAT beamlines 22-ID and 22-BM for data collection. We are also grateful to Guangteng Wu and Geun Bae Rha, for their assistance in sample preps during the early stage of the project. This work was supported by the American Diabetes Association (7-08-CD-03) and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Diabetes Research Trust Fund (KDR-PP09-09) to Y.C., and the American Diabetes Association (7-13-BS-119) and the National Institute of Health (R01DK92589) to R.M.O.


  • CREB
  • Crystal structure
  • FoxO1
  • Gene regulation
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glucose-6-phosphatase
  • Protein-DNA interaction

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