Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an expanding health problem worldwide. Although many studies have made great efforts to elucidate the pathogenesis of NAFLD, the molecular basis remains poorly understood. Here, we showed that hepatic C7ORF41, a critical regulator of innate immune response, was markedly decreased in diet or genetic-induced NAFLD model. We also demonstrated that C7ORF41 overexpression significantly ameliorated hepatic inflammation and lipid accumulation in palmitic acid (PA)-treated hepatocytes, whereas C7ORF41 knockdown showed the opposite effects. Mechanistically, we found the anti-inflammatory role of C7ORF41 was attributed to the suppression of NF-κB p65-mediated induction of inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, we demonstrated that the suppression of C7ORF41 expression in hepatocytes is due to JNK activation, which promotes c-Jun-mediated transcriptional repression of C7ORF41. In conclusion, our findings suggested that a c-Jun/C7ORF41/NF-κB regulatory network controls the inflammatory response and lipid accumulation in NAFLD and may benefit the development of novel and promising therapeutic targets for NAFLD.

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