Abstract Obesity, type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia frequently coexist and are associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality. Consumption of refined carbohydrate and particularly fructose has increased significantly in recent years and has paralled the increased incidence of obesity and diabetes. Human and animal studies have demonstrated that high dietary fructose intake positively correlates with increased dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Metabolism of fructose occurs primarily in the liver and high fructose flux leads to enhanced hepatic triglyceride accumulation (hepatic steatosis). This results in impaired glucose and lipid metabolism and increased proinflammatory cytokine expression. Here we demonstrate that fructose alters glucose-stimulated expression of activated acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC), pSer hormone sensitive lipase (pSerHSL) and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) in hepatic HepG2 or primary hepatic cell cultures in vitro. This was associated with increased de novo triglyceride synthesis in vitro and hepatic steatosis in vivo in fructose- versus glucose-fed and standard-diet fed mice. These studies provide novel insight into the mechanisms involved in fructose-mediated hepatic hypertriglyceridemia and identify fructose-uptake as a new potential therapeutic target for lipid-associated diseases.