In a previous genome-wide analysis of FXR binding to hepatic chromatin, we noticed that an extra nuclear receptor (NR) half-site was co-enriched close to the FXR binding IR-1 elements and we provided limited support that the monomeric LRH-1 receptor that binds to NR half-sites might function together with FXR to activate gene expression.
To analyze the global pattern for LRH-1 binding and to determine whether it might associate with FXR on a whole genome-wide scale, we analyzed LRH-1 binding to the entire hepatic genome using a non-biased genome-wide ChIP-seq approach. We identified over 10,600 LRH-1 binding sites in hepatic chromatin and over 20% were located within 2 kb of the 5' end of a known mouse gene. Additionally, the results demonstrate that a significant fraction of the genome sites occupied by LRH-1 are located close to FXR binding sites revealed in our earlier study. A Gene ontology analysis revealed that genes preferentially enriched in the LRH-1/FXR overlapping gene set are related to lipid metabolism. These results demonstrate that LRH-1 recruits FXR to lipid metabolic genes. A significant fraction of FXR binding peaks also contain a nuclear receptor half-site that does not bind LRH-1 suggesting that additional monomeric nuclear receptors such as RORs and NR4As family members may also target FXR to other pathway selective genes related to other areas of metabolism such as glucose metabolism where FXR has also been shown to play an important role.