Metformin is accepted as a first-line drug for the therapy of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), while its mechanism is still controversial. In the present study, by taking advantage of mouse model of high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity and primary mouse hepatocytes (PMHCs) as well as human hepatocyte L02 cell line, we aimed to investigate the involvement of SIRTs during the application of metformin for the therapy of T2D. Our data evidenced that during HFD-induced obesity, there was elevation of nucleus protein acetylation. Analysis of liver tissue showed that among all SIRT members, SIRT6 expression was significantly down-regulated during HFD feeding, which was sustained to regular level with metformin administration. Our result also showed that SIRT6 suppressed intracellular oxidative stress upon FAs stimulation in PMHCs and L02 cells. Mechanistically, SIRT6, but not SIRT1 promoted PGC-1α expression. We further prove that ENDOG is downstream of PGC-1α. In addition, we evidenced that ENDOG protects hepatocytes from lipid-induced oxidative stress, and down-regulation of Endog blunted the protective role of metformin in defending against FAs-induced oxidative stress. Our study established a novel mechanism of metformin in counteracting lipid-induced hepatic injury via activating SIRT6/PGC-1α/ENDOG signaling, thus providing novel targets of metformin in the therapy of T2D.

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