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1.  Molecular Mechanisms of Hepatic Steatosis and Insulin Resistance in the AGPAT2 Deficient Mouse Model of Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy 
Cell metabolism  2009;9(2):165-176.
SUMMARY
Mutations in 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2) cause congenital generalized lipodystrophy. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolic complications associated with AGPAT2 deficiency, Agpat2 null mice were generated. Agpat2−/− mice develop severe lipodystrophy affecting both white and brown adipose tissue, severe insulin resistance, diabetes, and hepatic steatosis. The expression of lipogenic genes and rates of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis were increased ~4-fold in Agpat2−/− mouse livers. The mRNA and protein levels of monoacylglycerol acyltransferase isoform 1 were markedly increased in the livers of Agpat2−/− mice suggesting that the alternative monoacylglycerol pathway for triglyceride biosynthesis is activated in the absence of AGPAT2. Feeding a fat-free diet reduced liver triglycerides by ~50% in Agpat2−/− mice. These observations suggest that both dietary fat and hepatic triglyceride biosynthesis via a novel monoacylglycerol pathway may contribute to hepatic steatosis in Agpat2−/− mice.
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2009.01.002
PMCID: PMC2673980  PMID: 19187773
AGPAT; LPAAT; MGAT; phosphatidic acid phosphatases; acyltransferase; phospholipids; lipodystrophy; hepatic steatosis
2.  Identification of a novel sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase isoform, GPAT4, as the enzyme deficient in Agpat6−/− mice 
Journal of lipid research  2008;49(4):823.
Elucidation of the metabolic pathways of triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis is critical to the understanding of chronic metabolic disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. sn-Glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) and sn-1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT) catalyze the first and second steps in de novo TAG synthesis. AGPAT6 is one of eight AGPAT isoforms identified through sequence homology, but the enzyme activity for AGPAT6 has not been confirmed. We found that in liver and brown adipose tissue from Agpat6-deficient (Agpat6−/−) mice, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM)-sensitive GPAT specific activity was 65% lower than in tissues from wild-type mice, but AGPAT specific activity was similar. Overexpression of Agpat6 in Cos-7 cells increased an NEM-sensitive GPAT specific activity, but AGPAT specific activity was not increased. Agpat6 and Gpat1 overexpression in Cos-7 cells increased the incorporation of [14C]oleate into diacylglycerol (DAG) or into DAG and TAG, respectively, suggesting that the lysophosphatidic acid, phosphatidic acid, and DAG intermediates initiated by each of these isoforms lie in different cellular pools. Together, these data show that “Agpat6−/− mice” are actually deficient in a novel NEM-sensitive GPAT, GPAT4, and indicate that the alterations in lipid metabolism in adipose tissue, liver, and mammary epithelium of these mice are attributable to the absence of GPAT4
doi:10.1194/jlr.M700592-JLR200
PMCID: PMC2819352  PMID: 18192653
triacylglycerol; phospholipid; lipodystrophy; acyl-coenzyme A; steatosis; sn-l-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase-deficient mice
3.  Agpat6—a Novel Lipid Biosynthetic Gene Required for Triacylglycerol Production in Mammary Epithelium 
Journal of lipid research  2006;47(4):734-744.
In analyzing the sequence tags for mutant mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines in BayGenomics (a mouse gene-trapping resource), we identified a novel gene, Agpat6, with sequence similarities to previously characterized glycerolipid acyltransferases. Agpat6’s closest family member is another novel gene that we have provisionally designated Agpat8. Both Agpat6 and Agpat8 are conserved from plants, nematodes, and flies to mammals. AGPAT6, which is predicted to contain multiple membrane-spanning helices, is found exclusively within the endoplasmic reticulum in mammalian cells. To gain insights into the in vivo importance of Agpat6, we used the Agpat6 ES cell line from BayGenomics to create Agpat6-deficient (Agpat6−/−) mice. Agpat6−/− mice lacked full-length Agpat6 transcripts, as judged by northern blots. One of the most striking phenotypes of Agpat6−/− mice was a defect in lactation. Pups nursed by Agpat6−/− mothers die perinatally. Normally, Agpat6 is expressed at high levels in the mammary epithelium of breast tissue, but not in the surrounding adipose tissue. Histological studies revealed that the aveoli and ducts of Agpat6−/− lactating mammary glands were underdeveloped, and there was a dramatic decrease in size and number of lipid droplets within mammary epithelial cells and ducts. Also, the milk from Agpat6−/− mice was markedly depleted in diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols. Thus, we identified a novel glycerolipid acyltransferase of the endoplasmic reticulum, AGPAT6, which is crucial for the production of milk fat by the mammary gland.
doi:10.1194/jlr.M500556-JLR200
PMCID: PMC3196597  PMID: 16449762
LPAAT; acyltransferase; transacylase; milk fat
4.  Identification and Characterisation of a Novel Pathogenic Mutation in the Human Lipodystrophy Gene AGPAT2 
JIMD Reports  2012;9:73-80.
Loss-of-function mutations in AGPAT2, encoding 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2), produce congenital generalised lipodystrophy (CGL). We screened the AGPAT2 gene in two siblings who presented with pseudoacromegaly, diabetes and severe dyslipidaemia and identified a novel mutation in AGPAT2 causing a single amino acid substitution, p.Cys48Arg. We subsequently investigated the molecular pathogenic mechanism linking both this mutation and the previously reported p.Leu228Pro mutation to clinical disease. Wild-type and mutant AGPAT2 were expressed in control and AGPAT2-deficient preadipocyte cell lines. mRNA and protein expression was determined, and the ability of each AGPAT2 species to rescue adipocyte differentiation in AGPAT2-deficient cells was assessed. Protein levels of both p.Cys48Arg and p.Leu228Pro AGPAT2 were significantly reduced compared with that of wild-type AGPAT2 despite equivalent mRNA levels. Stable expression of wild-type AGPAT2 partially rescued adipogenesis in AGPAT2 deficient preadipocytes, whereas stable expression of p.Cys48Arg or p.Leu228Pro AGPAT2 did not. In conclusion, unusually severe dyslipidaemia and pseudoacromegaloid overgrowth in patients with diabetes should alert physicians to the possibility of lipodystrophy. Both the previously unreported pathogenic p.Cys48Arg mutation in AGPAT2, and the known p.Leu228Pro mutation result in decreased AGPAT2 protein expression in developing adipocytes. It is most likely that the CGL seen in homozygous carriers of these mutations is largely accounted for by loss of protein expression.
doi:10.1007/8904_2012_181
PMCID: PMC3565662  PMID: 23430550
5.  Studies of association of AGPAT6 variants with type 2 diabetes and related metabolic phenotypes in 12,068 Danes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:113.
Background
Type 2 diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance are characterized by hypertriglyceridemia and ectopic accumulation of lipids in liver and skeletal muscle. AGPAT6 encodes a novel glycerol-3 phosphate acyltransferase, GPAT4, which catalyzes the first step in the de novo triglyceride synthesis. AGPAT6-deficient mice show lower weight and resistance to diet- and genetically induced obesity. Here, we examined whether common or low-frequency variants in AGPAT6 associate with type 2 diabetes or related metabolic traits in a Danish population.
Methods
Eleven variants selected by a candidate gene approach capturing the common and low-frequency variation of AGPAT6 were genotyped in 12,068 Danes from four study populations of middle-aged individuals. The case–control study involved 4,638 type 2 diabetic and 5,934 glucose-tolerant individuals, while studies of quantitative metabolic traits were performed in 5,645 non-diabetic participants of the Inter99 Study.
Results
None of the eleven AGPAT6 variants were robustly associated with type 2 diabetes in the Danish case–control study. Moreover, none of the AGPAT6 variants showed association with measures of obesity (waist circumference and BMI), serum lipid concentrations, fasting or 2-h post-glucose load levels of plasma glucose and serum insulin, or estimated indices of insulin secretion or insulin sensitivity.
Conclusions
Common and low-frequency variants in AGPAT6 do not significantly associate with type 2 diabetes susceptibility, or influence related phenotypic traits such as obesity, dyslipidemia or indices of insulin sensitivity or insulin secretion in the population studied.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-14-113
PMCID: PMC4231429  PMID: 24156295
Type 2 diabetes; Genetics; Insulin resistance; Human; Lipid droplets; AGPAT6; GPAT4
6.  A role for 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase-1 in myoblast differentiation 
AGPAT isoforms catalyze the acylation of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) to form phosphatidic acid (PA). AGPAT2 mutations are associated with defective adipogenesis. Muscle and adipose tissue share common precursor cells. We investigated the role of AGPAT isoforms in skeletal muscle development. We demonstrate that small interference RNA-mediated knockdown of AGPAT1 expression prevents the induction of myogenin, a key transcriptional activator of the myogenic program, and inhibits the expression of myosin heavy chain. This effect is rescued by transfection with AGPAT1 but not AGPAT2. Knockdown of AGPAT2 has no effect. The regulation of myogenesis by AGPAT1 is associated with alterations on actin cytoskeleton. The role of AGPAT1 on actin cytoskeleton is further supported by colocalization of AGPAT1 to areas of active actin polymerization. AGPAT1 overexpression was not associated with an increase in PA levels. Our observations strongly implicate AGPAT1 in the development of skeletal muscle, specifically to terminal differentiation. These findings are linked to the regulation of actin cytoskeleton.
doi:10.1016/j.diff.2010.05.006
PMCID: PMC3449212  PMID: 20561744
Cytoskeleton; Phosphatidic acid; AGPAT2; C2C12; Skeletal muscle; Actin
7.  Glycerophosphate/Acylglycerophosphate Acyltransferases 
Biology  2014;3(4):801-830.
Acyl-CoA:glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) and acyl-CoA: 1-acyl-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT) are involved in the de novo synthesis of triacylglycerol (TAG) and glycerophospholipids. Many enzymes belonging to the GPAT/AGPAT family have recently been identified and their physiological or pathophysiological roles have been proposed. The roles of GPAT/AGPAT in the synthesis of TAG and obesity-related diseases were revealed through the identification of causative genes of these diseases or analyses of genetically manipulated animals. Recent studies have suggested that some isoforms of GPAT/AGPAT family enzymes are involved in the fatty acid remodeling of phospholipids. The enzymology of GPAT/AGPAT and their physiological/pathological roles in the metabolism of glycerolipids have been described and discussed in this review.
doi:10.3390/biology3040801
PMCID: PMC4280512  PMID: 25415055
acyltransferase; acyl-CoA; triacylglycerol; phospholipid; GPAT; AGPAT
8.  PROTEASOME INHIBITOR TREATMENT REDUCED FATTY ACID, TRIACYLGLYCEROL AND CHOLESTEROL SYNTHESIS 
In the present study, the beneficial effects of proteasome inhibitor treatment in reducing ethanol-induced steatosis were investigated. A microarray analysis was performed on the liver of rats injected with PS-341 (Bortezomib, Velcade®), and the results showed that proteasome inhibitor treatment significantly reduced the mRNA expression of SREBP-1c, and the downstream lipogenic enzymes, such as fatty acid synthase (FAS) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), which catalyzes the carboxylation of acetyl-CoA to malonyl-CoA, the rate-limiting step in fatty acid synthesis. ELOVL6, which is responsible for fatty acids long chain elongation, was also significantly down regulated by proteasome inhibitor treatment. Moreover, PS-341 administration significantly reduced the expression of acyl-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT), and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT), enzyme involved in triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis. Finally, PS-341 was found to down regulate the enzymes 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoenzymeA synthase (HMG-CoA synthase) that is responsible for cholesterol synthesis. Proteasome inhibitor was also found to play a role in intestinal lipid adsorption because apolipoproteins A (apoA-I, apoAII, apoA-IV and ApoCIII) were down regulated by proteasome inhibitor treatment, especially ApoA-II that is known to be a marker of alcohol consumption. Proteasome inhibitor treatment also decreased apobec-1 complementation factor (ACF) leading to lower level of editing and production of ApoB protein. Moreover apolipoprotein C-III, a major component of chylomicrons was significantly down regulated. However, lipoprotein lipase (Lpl) and High density lipoprotein binding protein (Hdlbp) mRNA levels were increased by proteasome inhibitor treatment. These results suggested that proteasome inhibitor treatment could be used to reduce the alcohol-enhanced lipogenesis and alcohol-induced liver steatosis. A morphologic analysis, performed on the liver of rats fed ethanol for one month and treated with PS-341, showed that proteasome inhibitor treatment significantly decreased ethanol-induced liver steatosis. SREBP-1c, FAS and ACC were increased by ethanol feeding alone, but were significantly decreased when proteasome inhibitor was administered to rats fed ethanol. Our results also show that both mRNA and protein levels of these lipogenic enzymes, up regulated by ethanol, were then down regulated when proteasome inhibitor was administered to rats fed ethanol. It was also confirmed that alcohol feeding caused an increase in AGPAT and DGAT, which was prevented by proteasome inhibitor treatment of the animal fed ethanol. Chronic alcohol feeding did not affect the gene expression of HMG-CoA synthase. However, PS341 administration significantly reduced the HMG-CoA synthase mRNA levels, confirming the results obtained with the microarray analysis. C/EBP transcription factors alpha (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha) has been shown to positively regulate SREBP-1c mRNA expression, thus regulating lipogenesis. Proteasome inhibition caused a decrease in C/EBP alpha mRNA expression, indicating that C/EBP down regulation may be the mechanism by which proteasome inhibitor treatment reduced lipogenesis. In conclusion, our results indicate that proteasome activity is not only involved in down regulating fatty acid synthesis and triacylglycerol synthesis, but also cholesterol synthesis and intestinal lipid adsorption. Proteasome inhibitor, administrated at a non-toxic low dose, played a beneficial role in reducing lipogenesis caused by chronic ethanol feeding and these beneficial effects are obtained because of the specificity and reversibility of the proteasome inhibitor used.
doi:10.1016/j.yexmp.2012.03.006
PMCID: PMC4197193  PMID: 22445925
Fatty acid; Triacylglycerol and Cholesterol Synthesis; Proteasome inhibitor
9.  Divergent Metabolic Phenotype between Two Sisters with Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy Due to Double AGPAT2 Homozygous Mutations. A Clinical, Genetic and In Silico Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87173.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by extreme reduction of white adipose tissue (WAT) mass. CGL type 1 is the most frequent form and is caused by mutations in AGPAT2. Genetic and clinical studies were performed in two affected sisters of a Chilean family. These patients have notoriously dissimilar metabolic abnormalities that correlate with differential levels of circulating leptin and soluble leptin receptor fraction. Sequencing of AGPAT2 exons and exon-intron boundaries revealed two homozygous mutations in both sisters. Missense mutation c.299G>A changes a conserved serine in the acyltransferase NHX4D motif of AGPAT2 (p.Ser100Asn). Intronic c.493-1G>C mutation destroy a conserved splicing site that likely leads to exon 4 skipping and deletion of whole AGPAT2 substrate binding domain. In silico protein modeling provided insights of the mechanisms of lack of catalytic activity owing to both mutations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087173
PMCID: PMC3909042  PMID: 24498038
10.  Membrane topology of human AGPAT3 (LPAAT3) 
Integral membrane lysophospholipid acyltransferases (AT) are involved in many reactions that produce phospholipids and triglycerides. Enzymes that utilize lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) as an acceptor substrate have been termed LPAATs, and several are members of the 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase (AGPAT) gene family. Amino acid sequence comparisons with other acyltransferases reveal that AGPATs contain four conserved motifs (I–IV), whose invariant residues appear to be important for catalysis and/or substrate recognition. Although the enzymatic activities of many AGPATs are known, for many members their structural organization within membranes and their exact biological functions are unclear. Recently, a new function for AGPATs was discovered when it was determined that human AGPAT3/LPAAT3 is involved in the structure and function of the Golgi complex. Here we have determined the topological orientation of human AGPAT3/LPAAT3. AGPAT3/LPAAT3 possesses two transmembrane domains, one of which separates motifs I and II, which are thought to form a functional unit that is critical for enzymatic activity. This is a surprising result but similar to a recent study on the topology of human LPAAT 1. The data is consistent with a structural arrangement in which motif I is located in the cytoplasm and motif II is in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi lumen, suggesting a different model for AGPAT3/LPAAT3’s enzymatic mechanism.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.05.149
PMCID: PMC2902680  PMID: 20537980
Golgi complex; 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase; AGPAT3; lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase; LPAAT3; membrane topology
11.  Identification of a novel nonsense mutation and a missense substitution in the AGPAT2 gene causing congenital generalized lipodystrophy type 1 
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by the generalized scant of adipose tissue. CGL type 1 is caused by mutations in gene encoding 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase-2 (AGPAT2). A clinical and molecular genetic investigation was performed in affected and unaffected members of two families with CGL type 1. The AGPAT2 coding region was sequenced in index cases of the two families. The presence of the identified mutations in relevant parents was tested. We identified a novel nonsense mutation (c.685G>T, p.Glu229*) and a missense substitution (c.514G>A, p.Glu172Lys). The unaffected parents in both families were heterozygous carrier of the relevant mutation. The results expand genotype–phenotype spectrum in CGL1 and will have applications in prenatal and early diagnosis of the disease. This is the first report of Persian families identified with AGPAT2 mutations.
Highlights
► First diagnosis of congenital generalized lipodystrophy type 1 in Persian population. ► Molecular analysis identified a novel nonsense mutation and a missense substitution in the AGPAT2. ► The patients did not have diabetes mellitus or hyperinsulinemia. ► The mutations found are candidates for CGL screening. ► The results expand the knowledge about the genotype–phenotype correlations in CGL.
doi:10.1016/j.ejmg.2012.07.011
PMCID: PMC3471069  PMID: 22902344
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy; CGL; Berardinelli-Seip syndrome; AGPAT2
12.  Up-Regulation of Mitochondrial Activity and Acquirement of Brown Adipose Tissue-Like Property in the White Adipose Tissue of Fsp27 Deficient Mice 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(8):e2890.
Fsp27, a member of the Cide family proteins, was shown to localize to lipid droplet and promote lipid storage in adipocytes. We aimed to understand the biological role of Fsp27 in regulating adipose tissue differentiation, insulin sensitivity and energy balance. Fsp27−/− mice and Fsp27/lep double deficient mice were generated and we examined the adiposity, whole body metabolism, BAT and WAT morphology, insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial activity, and gene expression changes in these mouse strains. Furthermore, we isolated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from wildtype and Fsp27−/− mice, followed by their differentiation into adipocytes in vitro. We found that Fsp27 is expressed in both brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) and its levels were significantly elevated in the WAT and liver of leptin-deficient ob/ob mice. Fsp27−/− mice had increased energy expenditure, lower levels of plasma triglycerides and free fatty acids. Furthermore, Fsp27−/− and Fsp27/lep double-deficient mice are resistant to diet-induced obesity and display increased insulin sensitivity. Moreover, white adipocytes in Fsp27−/− mice have reduced triglycerides accumulation and smaller lipid droplets, while levels of mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial size and activity are dramatically increased. We further demonstrated that BAT-specific genes and key metabolic controlling factors such as FoxC2, PPAR and PGC1α were all markedly upregulated. In contrast, factors inhibiting BAT differentiation such as Rb, p107 and RIP140 were down-regulated in the WAT of Fsp27−/− mice. Remarkably, Fsp27−/− MEFs differentiated in vitro show many brown adipocyte characteristics in the presence of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3). Our data thus suggest that Fsp27 acts as a novel regulator in vivo to control WAT identity, mitochondrial activity and insulin sensitivity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002890
PMCID: PMC2483355  PMID: 18682832
13.  Alterations in Lipid Signaling Underlie Lipodystrophy Secondary to AGPAT2 Mutations 
Diabetes  2012;61(11):2922-2931.
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL), secondary to AGPAT2 mutation is characterized by the absence of adipocytes and development of severe insulin resistance. In the current study, we investigated the adipogenic defect associated with AGPAT2 mutations. Adipogenesis was studied in muscle-derived multipotent cells (MDMCs) isolated from vastus lateralis biopsies obtained from controls and subjects harboring AGPAT2 mutations and in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes after knockdown or overexpression of AGPAT2. We demonstrate an adipogenic defect using MDMCs from control and CGL human subjects with mutated AGPAT2. This defect was rescued in CGL MDMCs with a retrovirus expressing AGPAT2. Both CGL-derived MDMCs and 3T3-L1 cells with knockdown of AGPAT2 demonstrated an increase in cell death after induction of adipogenesis. Lack of AGPAT2 activity reduces Akt activation, and overexpression of constitutively active Akt can partially restore lipogenesis. AGPAT2 modulated the levels of phosphatidic acid, lysophosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol species, as well as the peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ (PPARγ) inhibitor cyclic phosphatidic acid. The PPARγ agonist pioglitazone partially rescued the adipogenic defect in CGL cells. We conclude that AGPAT2 regulates adipogenesis through the modulation of the lipome, altering normal activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and PPARγ pathways in the early stages of adipogenesis.
doi:10.2337/db12-0004
PMCID: PMC3478532  PMID: 22872237
14.  Partial Inhibition of Adipose Tissue Lipolysis Improves Glucose Metabolism and Insulin Sensitivity Without Alteration of Fat Mass 
PLoS Biology  2013;11(2):e1001485.
Partial inhibition of adipose tissue lipolysis does not increase fat mass but improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity through modulation of fatty acid turnover and induction of fat cell de novo lipogenesis.
When energy is needed, white adipose tissue (WAT) provides fatty acids (FAs) for use in peripheral tissues via stimulation of fat cell lipolysis. FAs have been postulated to play a critical role in the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance, a major risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, whether and how chronic inhibition of fat mobilization from WAT modulates insulin sensitivity remains elusive. Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) participates in the breakdown of WAT triacylglycerol into FAs. HSL haploinsufficiency and treatment with a HSL inhibitor resulted in improvement of insulin tolerance without impact on body weight, fat mass, and WAT inflammation in high-fat-diet–fed mice. In vivo palmitate turnover analysis revealed that blunted lipolytic capacity is associated with diminution in FA uptake and storage in peripheral tissues of obese HSL haploinsufficient mice. The reduction in FA turnover was accompanied by an improvement of glucose metabolism with a shift in respiratory quotient, increase of glucose uptake in WAT and skeletal muscle, and enhancement of de novo lipogenesis and insulin signalling in liver. In human adipocytes, HSL gene silencing led to improved insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, resulting in increased de novo lipogenesis and activation of cognate gene expression. In clinical studies, WAT lipolytic rate was positively and negatively correlated with indexes of insulin resistance and WAT de novo lipogenesis gene expression, respectively. In obese individuals, chronic inhibition of lipolysis resulted in induction of WAT de novo lipogenesis gene expression. Thus, reduction in WAT lipolysis reshapes FA fluxes without increase of fat mass and improves glucose metabolism through cell-autonomous induction of fat cell de novo lipogenesis, which contributes to improved insulin sensitivity.
Author Summary
In periods of energy demand, mobilization of fat stores in mammals (i.e., adipose tissue lipolysis) is essential to provide energy in the form of fatty acids. In excess, however, fatty acids induce resistance to the action of insulin, which serves to regulate glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle and liver. Insulin resistance (or low insulin sensitivity) is believed to be a cornerstone of the complications of obesity such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In this study, our clinical observation of natural variation in fat cell lipolysis in individuals reveals that a high lipolytic rate is associated with low insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, partial genetic and pharmacologic inhibition of hormone-sensitive lipase, one of the enzymes involved in the breakdown of white adipose tissue lipids, results in improvement of insulin sensitivity in mice without gain in body weight and fat mass. We undertake a series of mechanistic studies in mice and in human fat cells to show that blunted lipolytic capacity increases the synthesis of new fatty acids from glucose in fat cells, a pathway that has recently been shown by others to be a major determinant of whole body insulin sensitivity. In conclusion, partial inhibition of adipose tissue lipolysis is a plausible strategy in the treatment of obesity-related insulin resistance.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001485
PMCID: PMC3576369  PMID: 23431266
15.  Novel Subtype of Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy Associated With Muscular Weakness and Cervical Spine Instability 
Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a rare auto-somal recessive disorder characterized by extreme paucity of adipose tissue from birth, and early onset of metabolic complications related to insulin resistance. Mutations in three genes, 1-acylglycerol 3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2 (AGPAT2), Berardinelli Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy 2 (BSCL2), and Caveolin-1 (CAV1) are associated with the three subtypes of this disorder, CGL1, CGL2 and CGL3, respectively. We report two siblings of Hispanic origin who displayed characteristic features of CGL such as generalized loss of subcutaneous fat from birth, acanthosis nigricans, acromegaloid habitus, umbilical prominence, hepatosplenomegaly, hypoleptinemia, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. However, no disease causing variants were detected in the DNA sequence of AGPAT2, BSCL2 or CAV1 genes. Further, whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the two siblings revealed marked loss of subcutaneous, intraabdominal and intrathoracic fat like in other patients with CGL, but preservation of bone marrow fat which is invariably lost in all patients with CGL1 and CGL2, but not in the patient reported with CGL3. They also had generalized muscle weakness during infancy and early childhood associated with a nearly fivefold increase in serum creatine kinase (CK) levels, but with normal muscle biopsy and electrophysiologic studies. Both patients were also found to have atlantoaxial dislocation requiring surgical intervention. Thus, this pedigree represents a novel subtype of CGL characterized by generalized loss of body fat but with preservation of bone marrow fat, congenital muscular weakness and cervical spine instability. The genetic basis of this novel subtype remains to be determined.
doi:10.1002/ajmg.a.32457
PMCID: PMC2716114  PMID: 18698612
congenital generalized lipodystrophy; adipose tissue; insulin resistance; congenital myopathy; cervical spine instability
16.  Regulation of gene expression by FSP27 in white and brown adipose tissue 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:446.
Background
Brown and white adipose tissues (BAT and WAT) play critical roles in controlling energy homeostasis and in the development of obesity and diabetes. The mouse Fat-Specific protein 27 (FSP27), a member of the cell death-inducing DFF45-like effector (CIDE) family, is expressed in both BAT and WAT and is associated with lipid droplets. Over-expression of FSP27 promotes lipid storage, whereas FSP27 deficient mice have improved insulin sensitivity and are resistant to diet-induced obesity. In addition, FSP27-deficient white adipocytes have reduced lipid storage, smaller lipid droplets, increased mitochondrial activity and a higher expression of several BAT-selective genes. To elucidate the molecular mechanism by which FSP27 controls lipid storage and gene expression in WAT and BAT, we systematically analyzed the gene expression profile of FSP27-deficient WAT by microarray analysis and compared the expression levels of a specific set of genes in WAT and BAT by semi-quantitative real-time PCR analysis.
Results
BAT-selective genes were significantly up-regulated, whereas WAT-selective genes were down-regulated in the WAT of FSP27-deficient mice. The expression of the BAT-selective genes was also dramatically up-regulated in the WAT of leptin/FSP27 double deficient mice. In addition, the expression levels of genes involved in multiple metabolic pathways, including oxidative phosphorylation, the TCA cycle, fatty acid synthesis and fatty acid oxidation, were increased in the FSP27-deficient WAT. In contrast, the expression levels for genes involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, the classic complement pathway and TGF-β signaling were down-regulated in the FSP27-deficient WAT. Most importantly, the expression levels of regulatory factors that determine BAT identity, such as CEBPα/β, PRDM16 and major components of the cAMP pathway, were markedly up-regulated in the WAT of FSP27-deficient mice. The expression levels of these regulatory factors were also up-regulated in leptin/FSP27 double deficient mice. Interestingly, distinct gene expression profiles were observed in the BAT of FSP27-deficient mice. Taken together, these data suggest that the WAT of FSP27-deficient mice have a gene expression profile similar to that of BAT.
Conclusions
FSP27 acts as a molecular determinant that controls gene expression for a diversity of metabolic and signaling pathways and, in particular, the expression of regulatory factors, including CEBPα/β, PRDM16 and components of the cAMP signaling pathway, that control the identity of WAT and BAT.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-446
PMCID: PMC3091643  PMID: 20649970
17.  Oleoylethanolamide enhances β-adrenergic-mediated thermogenesis and white-to-brown adipocyte phenotype in epididymal white adipose tissue in rat 
Disease Models & Mechanisms  2013;7(1):129-141.
β-adrenergic receptor activation promotes brown adipose tissue (BAT) β-oxidation and thermogenesis by burning fatty acids during uncoupling respiration. Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) can inhibit feeding and stimulate lipolysis by activating peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-α (PPARα) in white adipose tissue (WAT). Here we explore whether PPARα activation potentiates the effect of β3-adrenergic stimulation on energy balance mediated by the respective agonists OEA and CL316243. The effect of this pharmacological association on feeding, thermogenesis, β-oxidation, and lipid and cholesterol metabolism in epididymal (e)WAT was monitored. CL316243 (1 mg/kg) and OEA (5 mg/kg) co-administration over 6 days enhanced the reduction of both food intake and body weight gain, increased the energy expenditure and reduced the respiratory quotient (VCO2/VO2). This negative energy balance agreed with decreased fat mass and increased BAT weight and temperature, as well as with lowered plasma levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, nonessential fatty acids (NEFAs), and the adipokines leptin and TNF-α. Regarding eWAT, CL316243 and OEA treatment elevated levels of the thermogenic factors PPARα and UCP1, reduced p38-MAPK phosphorylation, and promoted brown-like features in the white adipocytes: the mitochondrial (Cox4i1, Cox4i2) and BAT (Fgf21, Prdm16) genes were overexpressed in eWAT. The enhancement of the fatty-acid β-oxidation factors Cpt1b and Acox1 in eWAT was accompanied by an upregulation of de novo lipogenesis and reduced expression of the unsaturated-fatty-acid-synthesis enzyme gene, Scd1. We propose that the combination of β-adrenergic and PPARα receptor agonists promotes therapeutic adipocyte remodelling in eWAT, and therefore has a potential clinical utility in the treatment of obesity.
doi:10.1242/dmm.013110
PMCID: PMC3882055  PMID: 24159189
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha; β3-adrenergic receptor; Thermogenesis; β-oxidation; Adipocyte
18.  Rhodobacter capsulatus OlsA Is a Bifunctional Enyzme Active in both Ornithine Lipid and Phosphatidic Acid Biosynthesis▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(23):8564-8574.
The Rhodobacter capsulatus genome contains three genes (olsA [plsC138], plsC316, and plsC3498) that are annotated as lysophosphatidic acid (1-acyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphate) acyltransferase (AGPAT). Of these genes, olsA was previously shown to be an O-acyltransferase in the second step of ornithine lipid biosynthesis, which is important for optimal steady-state levels of c-type cytochromes (S. Aygun-Sunar, S. Mandaci, H.-G. Koch, I. V. J. Murray, H. Goldfine, and F. Daldal. Mol. Microbiol. 61:418-435, 2006). The roles of the remaining plsC316 and plsC3498 genes remained unknown. In this work, these genes were cloned, and chromosomal insertion-deletion mutations inactivating them were obtained to define their function. Characterization of these mutants indicated that, unlike the Escherichia coli plsC, neither plsC316 nor plsC3498 was essential in R. capsulatus. In contrast, no plsC316 olsA double mutant could be isolated, indicating that an intact copy of either olsA or plsC316 was required for R. capsulatus growth under the conditions tested. Compared to OlsA null mutants, PlsC316 null mutants contained ornithine lipid and had no c-type cytochrome-related phenotype. However, they exhibited slight growth impairment and highly altered total fatty acid and phospholipid profiles. Heterologous expression in an E. coli plsC(Ts) mutant of either R. capsulatus plsC316 or olsA gene products supported growth at a nonpermissive temperature, exhibited AGPAT activity in vitro, and restored phosphatidic acid biosynthesis. The more vigorous AGPAT activity displayed by PlsC316 suggested that plsC316 encodes the main AGPAT required for glycerophospholipid synthesis in R. capsulatus, while olsA acts as an alternative AGPAT that is specific for ornithine lipid synthesis. This study therefore revealed for the first time that some OlsA enzymes, like the enzyme of R. capsulatus, are bifunctional and involved in both membrane ornithine lipid and glycerophospholipid biosynthesis.
doi:10.1128/JB.01121-07
PMCID: PMC2168953  PMID: 17921310
19.  Loss of Protein Kinase Cβ Function Protects Mice Against Diet-Induced Obesity and Development of Hepatic Steatosis and Insulin Resistance 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2009;49(5):1525-1536.
Obesity is an energy balance disorder in which intake is greater than expenditure, with most excess calories stored as triglyceride (TG). We previously reported that mice lacking β-isoform of protein kinase C (PKCβ), a diacylglycerol- and phospholipid-dependent kinase, exhibit marked reduction in the whole body TG content, including white adipose tissue (WAT) mass. To investigate the role of this signaling kinase in metabolic adaptations to severe dietary stress, we studied the impact of a high fat diet (HFD) on PKCβ expression and the effect of PKCβ deficiency on profound weight gain. We now report that HFD selectively increased PKCβ expression in obesity-prone C57BL/6J mice, specifically in WAT; the expression levels were little or unchanged in the liver, muscle, kidney, and heart. Basal PKCβ expression was also found to be elevated in WAT of obese ob/ob mice. Remarkably, mice lacking PKCβ were resistant to HFD-induced obesity showing significantly reduced WAT and slightly higher core body temperatures. Unlike lean lipodystrophic mouse models, these mice did not have fatty livers or exhibited insulin resistance. Moreover, PKCβ−/− mice exhibited changes in lipid metabolism gene expression and such alterations were accompanied by significant changes in serum adipokines. These observations suggest that PKCβ deficiency induced a unique metabolic state congruous with obesity resistance, thus raising the possibility that dysregulation of PKCβ expression could contribute to dietary fat-induced obesity and related disorders.
doi:10.1002/hep.22815
PMCID: PMC2728215  PMID: 19296465
high-fat diet; TG metabolism; signal transduction; fatty acid oxidation; transcriptional induction
20.  Role of adipose tissue in methionine–choline-deficient model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)☆ 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2014;1842(7):959-970.
Methionine–choline-deficient (MCD) diet is a widely used dietary model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in rodents. However, the contribution of adipose tissue to MCD-induced steatosis, and inflammation as features of NASH are not fully understood. The goal of this study was to elucidate the role of adipose tissue fatty acid (FA) metabolism, adipogenesis, lipolysis, inflammation and subsequent changes in FA profiles in serum and liver in the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis. We therefore fed ob/ob mice with control or MCD diet for 5 weeks. MCD-feeding increased adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone sensitive lipase activities in all adipose depots which may be attributed to increased systemic FGF21 levels. The highest lipase enzyme activity was exhibited by visceral WAT. Non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA)-18:2n6 was the predominantly elevated FA species in serum and liver of MCD-fed ob/ob mice, while overall serum total fatty acid (TFA) composition was reduced. In contrast, an overall increase of all FA species from TFA pool was found in liver, reflecting the combined effects of increased FA flux to liver, decreased FA oxidation and decrease in lipase activity in liver. NAFLD activity score was increased in liver, while WAT showed no changes and BAT showed even reduced inflammation. Conclusion: This study demonstrates a key role for adipose tissue lipases in the pathogenesis of NASH and provides a comprehensive lipidomic profiling of NEFA and TFA homeostasis in serum and liver. Our findings provide novel mechanistic insights for the role of WAT in progression of MCD-induced liver injury.
Highlights
•MCD model of NASH increases lipase activity in WAT as a critical determinant of hepatic FA flux and lipotoxicity.•The maximal increase of ATGL and HSL activity is in visceral WAT.•Increased lipase activity may be due to enhanced FGF21 signaling.•NEFA-18:2n6 is preferentially increased in serum and liver due to lipolysis in WAT.•MCD diet enhances the activity of BAT and diminishes its inflammatory markers.
doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.02.012
PMCID: PMC4034162  PMID: 24594481
ATGL, adipose triglyceride lipase; ACC1, acetyl-CoA carboxylase; ACSL1, long-chain fatty-acid-coenzyme A ligase; ap2/FABP4, adipocyte protein 2/fatty acid binding protein 4; ATP5B, ATP synthase, H + transporting mitochondrial F1 complex, beta subunit; BAT, brown adipose tissue; C/EBPα, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha; CIDEA, cell death-inducing DFFA-like effector A; Cox4i1, cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV isoform 1; CPT1β, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1β; DNL, de novo lipogenesis; DGAT, diglyceride acyltransferase; FA, fatty acid; FGF21, fibroblast growth factor 21; HSL, hormone sensitive lipase; IHC, immunohistochemistry; MCD, methionine–choline-deficient; NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; NEFA, non-esterified fatty acid; SD, standard deviation; PCYT1A, choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase A; PCYT2, ethanolamine-phosphate cytidylyltransferase 2; PEMT, phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase; PPARγ2, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ2; SCD1, stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1; SNS, sympathetic nervous system; SREBP1c, sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c; TG, triglyceride; TFA, total fatty acid; UCP-1, uncoupling protein 1; WAT, white adipose tissue. Common name of fatty acids: 14:0 Myristic acid; 16:0, Palmitic acid; 18:0, Stearic acid; 20:0, Aracidic acid; 24:0, Lignoceric acid; 16:1n7, Palmitoleic acid; 18:1n9, Oleic acid; 18:1n11, Vaccenic acid; 18:2n6, Linoleic acid; 20:4n6, Arachidonic acid; 22:4n6, Adrenic acid; 18:3n6, γLinolenic acid; 18:3n3, αLinolenic acid; 20:3n6, Dihomo γlinolenic acid; 20:5n3, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); 22:5n3, Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA); 22:6n3, Docosahexaenoic acid; NAFLD; Lipolysis; Liver; ATGL; HSL; FGF21
21.  Obesity resistance and enhanced glucose metabolismin mice transplanted with white adipose tissue lackingacyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;111(11):1715-1722.
Recent studies have identified the white adipose tissue (WAT) as an important endocrine organ that regulates energy and glucose metabolism via a number of secreted factors. Mice lacking acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), a key enzyme in mammalian triglyceride synthesis, are protected against diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance because of increased energy expenditure and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Because DGAT1 is highly expressed in WAT, we hypothesized that DGAT1 deficiency affects the expression of adipocyte-derived factors that regulate energy and glucose metabolism. Here we show that the transplantation of DGAT1-deficient WAT decreases adiposity and enhances glucose disposal in wild-type mice. Analysis of DGAT1-deficient WAT revealed a twofold increase in the expression of adiponectin, a molecule that enhances fatty acid oxidation and insulin sensitivity, and this increase may account in part for the transplantation-induced metabolic changes. Our results highlight the importance of the endocrine function of WAT and suggest that an alteration in this function contributes to the increased energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity in DGAT1-deficient mice.
doi:10.1172/JCI200315859
PMCID: PMC156099  PMID: 12782674
22.  Effects of DGAT1 deficiency on energy and glucose metabolism are independent of adiponectin 
Mice lacking acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), an enzyme that catalyzes the terminal step in triacylglycerol synthesis, have enhanced insulin sensitivity and are protected from obesity, a result of increased energy expenditure. In these mice, factors derived from white adipose tissue (WAT) contribute to the systemic changes in metabolism. One such factor, adiponectin, increases fatty acid oxidation and enhances insulin sensitivity. To test the hypothesis that adiponectin is required for the altered energy and glucose metabolism in DGAT1-deficient mice, we generated adiponectin-deficient mice and introduced adiponectin deficiency into DGAT1-deficient mice by genetic crosses. Although adiponectin-deficient mice fed a high-fat diet were heavier, exhibited worse glucose tolerance, and had more hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation than wild-type controls, mice lacking both DGAT1 and adiponectin, like DGAT1-deficient mice, were protected from diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance, and hepatic steatosis. These findings indicate that adiponectin is required for normal energy, glucose, and lipid metabolism but that the metabolic changes induced by DGAT1-deficient WAT are independent of adiponectin and are likely due to other WAT-derived factors. Our findings also suggest that the pharmacological inhibition of DGAT1 may be useful for treating human obesity and insulin resistance associated with low circulating adiponectin levels.
doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00621.2005
PMCID: PMC1552042  PMID: 16595853
triglyceride; adipose tissue; gene knockout; acyl-coenzyme A:diacyl-glycerol acyltransferase 1
23.  Trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid reduces neutral lipid content and may affect cryotolerance of in vitro-produced crossbred bovine embryos 
Background
Due to high neutral lipids accumulation in the cytoplasm, in vitro-produced embryos from Bos primigenius indicus and their crosses are more sensitive to chilling and cryopreservation than those from Bos primigenius taurus. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the development and cryotolerance of crossbred Bos primigenius taurus x Bos primigenius indicus embryos produced in vitro, and cultured in the presence of fetal calf serum. Bovine zygotes (n = 1,692) were randomly assigned to one of the following treatment groups: 1) Control, zygotes cultured in Charles Rosenkrans 2 amino acid (CR2aa) medium (n = 815) or 2) CLA, zygotes cultured in CR2aa medium supplemented with 100 μmol/L of trans-10, cis-12 CLA (n = 877). Embryo development (cleavage and blastocyst rates evaluated at days 3 and 8 of culture, respectively), lipid content at morula stage (day 5) and blastocyst cryotolerance (re-expansion and hatching rates, evaluated 24 and 72 h post-thawing, respectively) were compared between groups. Additionally, selected mRNA transcripts were measured by Real–Time PCR in blastocyst stage.
Results
The CLA treatment had no effect on cleavage and blastocyst rates, or on mRNA levels for genes related to cellular stress and apoptosis. On the other hand, abundance of mRNA for the 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate 0-acyltransferase-encoding gene (AGPAT), which is involved in triglycerides synthesis, and consequently neutral lipid content, were reduced by CLA treatment. A significant increase was observed in the re-expansion rate of embryos cultured with trans-10, cis-12 CLA when compared to control (56.3 vs. 34.4%, respectively, P = 0.002). However, this difference was not observed in the hatching rate (16.5 vs. 14.0%, respectively, P = 0.62).
Conclusions
The supplementation with trans-10, cis-12 CLA isomer in culture medium reduced the lipid content of in vitro produced bovine embryos by reducing the gene expression of 1-acylglycerol 3-phosphate 0-acyltransferase (AGPAT) enzyme. However, a possible improvement in embryo cryotolerance in response to CLA, as suggested by increased blastocyst re-expansion rate, was not confirmed by hatching rates.
doi:10.1186/2049-1891-5-33
PMCID: PMC4083350  PMID: 25002968
Blastocysts; CLA; Crossbred cattle; Cryopreservation; Lipid content
24.  Essential Role for miR-196a in Brown Adipogenesis of White Fat Progenitor Cells 
PLoS Biology  2012;10(4):e1001314.
Brown adipocytes can differentiate from white fat progenitor cells in mice exposed to cold or β3-adrenergic stimulation, and this process is regulated by a microRNA that regulates the expression of Hoxc8, a master regulator of brown adipogenesis.
The recent discovery of functional brown adipocytes in adult humans illuminates the potential of these cells in the treatment of obesity and its associated diseases. In rodents, brown adipocyte-like cells are known to be recruited in white adipose tissue (WAT) by cold exposure or β-adrenergic stimulation, but the molecular machinery underlying this phenomenon is not fully understood. Here, we show that inducible brown adipogenesis is mediated by the microRNA miR-196a. We found that miR-196a suppresses the expression of the white-fat gene Hoxc8 post-transcriptionally during the brown adipogenesis of white fat progenitor cells. In mice, miR-196a is induced in the WAT-progenitor cells after cold exposure or β-adrenergic stimulation. The fat-specific forced expression of miR-196a in mice induces the recruitment of brown adipocyte-like cells in WAT. The miR-196a transgenic mice exhibit enhanced energy expenditure and resistance to obesity, indicating the induced brown adipocyte-like cells are metabolically functional. Mechanistically, Hoxc8 targets and represses C/EBPβ, a master switch of brown-fat gene program, in cooperation with histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) through the C/EBPβ 3′ regulatory sequence. Thus, miR-196a induces functional brown adipocytes in WAT through the suppression of Hoxc8, which functions as a gatekeeper of the inducible brown adipogenesis. The miR-196a-Hoxc8-C/EBPβ signaling pathway may be a therapeutic target for inducing brown adipogenesis to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Author Summary
Obesity is caused by the accumulation of surplus energy in a fatty tissue called white adipose tissue (WAT) and can lead to important health problems such as diabetes. Mammals additionally possess brown adipose tissue (BAT), which serves to generate body heat to stabilize body temperature under exposure to cold, and is abundant in hibernating animals and human neonates. In performing its function BAT consumes energy, thereby reducing WAT fat accumulation. Recent studies have shown that exposure to a cold environment stimulates the partial conversion of WAT to BAT in mice, and given that human adults have a limited amount of BAT, such a conversion has the potential to afford a novel method of obesity control. Here, we analyze the molecular mechanism of this conversion using genetically manipulated mice and cells isolated from human adipose tissue. We find that the expression levels of a microRNA, miR-196a, positively correlate with the conversion of WAT to BAT under cold exposure conditions. We show that forced expression of miR-196a in mouse adipose tissue increases BAT content and energy expenditure, thereby rendering the animals resistant to obesity and diabetes. Mechanistically, we observe that miR-196a acts by inhibiting the expression of the homeotic gene Hoxc8, a repressor of brown adipogenesis. These findings introduce the therapeutic possibility of using microRNAs to control obesity and its associated diseases in humans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001314
PMCID: PMC3335871  PMID: 22545021
25.  Suppression of the C/EBP family of transcription factors in adipose tissue causes lipodystrophy 
Adipose-specific inactivation of both AP-1 and C/EBP families of B-ZIP transcription factors in transgenic mice causes severe lipoatrophy. To evaluate if inactivation of only C/EBP members was critical for lipoatrophy, A-C/EBP, a dominant-negative protein that specifically inhibits the DNA binding of the C/EBP members, was expressed in adipose tissue. For first 2 weeks after birth, aP2-A-C/EBP mice had no white adipose tissue(WAT), drastically reduced brown adipose tissue(BAT) and exhibited marked hepatic steatosis, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperlipidemia. However, WAT appeared during the third week, coinciding with significantly improved metabolic functioning. In adults, BAT remained reduced, causing cold intolerance. At 30 weeks, the aP2-A-C/EBP mice had only 35% reduced WAT, with clear morphological signs of lipodystrophy in subcutaneous fat. Circulating leptin and adiponectin levels were less than the wild type levels and these mice exhibited impaired triglyceride clearance. Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and reduced free fatty acid release in response to β3-adrenergic agonist suggest improper functioning of the residual WAT. Gene-expression analysis of inguinal WAT identified reduced mRNA levels of several enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis and glucose metabolism that are known C/EBPα transcriptional targets. There were increased levels for genes involved in inflammation and muscle differentiation. However, when dermal-fibroblasts from aP2-A-C/EBP mice were differentiated into adipocytes in tissue culture, muscle markers were elevated more than the inflammatory markers. These results demonstrate that the C/EBP family is essential for adipose tissue development during the early postnatal period, contribute to glucose and lipid homeostasis in adults, and the suppression of the muscle lineage.
doi:10.1530/JME-10-0172
PMCID: PMC3159190  PMID: 21321096
C/EBP; dominant negative; adipose tissue; diabetes; lipodystrophy; transgenic mouse

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