Insulin has long-term effects on glucose and lipid metabolism through its control on the expression of specific genes. In insulin sensitive tissues and particularly in the liver, the transcription factor sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) transduces the insulin signal. SREBP-1c is a transcription factor which is synthetized as a precursor in the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum and which requires post-translational modification to yield its transcriptionally active nuclear form. Insulin activates the transcription and the proteolytic maturation of SREBP-1c. SREBP-1c induces the expression of a family of genes involved in glucose utilization and fatty acid synthesis and can be considered as a thrifty gene. Since a high lipid availability is deleterious for insulin sensitivity and secretion, a role for SREBP-1c in dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes has been considered in genetic studies and some association demonstrated. Finally, SREBP-1c could also participate to the hepatic steatosis observed in humans and related to alcohol consumption and hyperhomocysteinaemia, two pathologies which are concomitant with a stress of the endoplasmic reticulum and an insulin-independent SREBP-1c activation.