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1.  MicroRNA-378 controls classical brown fat expansion to counteract obesity 
Nature communications  2014;5:4725.
Both classical brown adipocytes and brown-like beige adipocytes are considered as promising therapeutic targets for obesity; however, their development, relative importance, and functional coordination are not well understood. Here we show that a modest expression of miR-378/378* in adipose tissue specifically increases classical brown fat (BAT) mass, but not white fat (WAT) mass. Remarkably, BAT expansion, rather than miR-378 per se, suppresses formation of beige adipocytes in subcutaneous WAT. Despite this negative feedback, the expanded BAT depot is sufficient to prevent both genetic and high fat diet-induced obesity. At the molecular level, we find that miR-378 targets phosphodiesterase Pde1b in BAT, but not in WAT. Indeed, miR-378 and Pde1b inversely regulate brown adipogenesis in vitro in the absence of phosphodiesterase inhibitor IBMX. Our work identifies miR-378 as a key regulatory component underlying classical BAT-specific expansion and obesity resistance, and adds novel insights into the physiological cross-talk between BAT and WAT.
PMCID: PMC4167820  PMID: 25145289
2.  PKC-θ knockout mice are protected from fat-induced insulin resistance 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(6):823-827.
Insulin resistance plays a primary role in the development of type 2 diabetes and may be related to alterations in fat metabolism. Recent studies have suggested that local accumulation of fat metabolites inside skeletal muscle may activate a serine kinase cascade involving protein kinase C–θ (PKC-θ), leading to defects in insulin signaling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether mice with inactivation of PKC-θ are protected from fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle and hepatic insulin action as assessed during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps did not differ between WT and PKC-θ KO mice following saline infusion. A 5-hour lipid infusion decreased insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose uptake in the WT mice that was associated with 40–50% decreases in insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate–1 (IRS-1) and IRS-1–associated PI3K activity. In contrast, PKC-θ inactivation prevented fat-induced defects in insulin signaling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that PKC-θ is a crucial component mediating fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and suggest that PKC-θ is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC516267  PMID: 15372106
3.  Inactivation of fatty acid transport protein 1 prevents fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;113(5):756-763.
Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle plays a major role in the development of type 2 diabetes and may be causally associated with increases in intramuscular fatty acid metabolites. Fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1) is an acyl-CoA synthetase highly expressed in skeletal muscle and modulates fatty acid uptake and metabolism by converting fatty acids into fatty acyl-CoA. To investigate the role of FATP1 in glucose homeostasis and in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, we examined the effect of acute lipid infusion or chronic high-fat feeding on insulin action in FATP1 KO mice. Whole-body adiposity, adipose tissue expression of adiponectin, intramuscular fatty acid metabolites, and insulin sensitivity were not altered in FATP1 KO mice fed a regular chow diet. In contrast, FATP1 deletion protected the KO mice from fat-induced insulin resistance and intramuscular accumulation of fatty acyl-CoA without alteration in whole-body adiposity. These findings demonstrate an important role of intramuscular fatty acid metabolites in causing insulin resistance and suggest that FATP1 may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC351314  PMID: 14991074
4.  IL-1 Signaling in Obesity-Induced Hepatic Lipogenesis and Steatosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107265.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is prevalent in human obesity and type 2 diabetes, and is characterized by increases in both hepatic triglyceride accumulation (denoted as steatosis) and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β. We report here that the development of hepatic steatosis requires IL-1 signaling, which upregulates Fatty acid synthase to promote hepatic lipogenesis. Using clodronate liposomes to selectively deplete liver Kupffer cells in ob/ob mice, we observed remarkable amelioration of obesity-induced hepatic steatosis and reductions in liver weight, triglyceride content and lipogenic enzyme expressions. Similar results were obtained with diet-induced obese mice, although visceral adipose tissue macrophage depletion also occurred in response to clodronate liposomes in this model. There were no differences in the food intake, whole body metabolic parameters, serum β-hydroxybutyrate levels or lipid profiles due to clodronate-treatment, but hepatic cytokine gene expressions including IL-1β were decreased. Conversely, treatment of primary mouse hepatocytes with IL-1β significantly increased triglyceride accumulation and Fatty acid synthase expression. Furthermore, the administration of IL-1 receptor antagonist to obese mice markedly reduced obesity-induced steatosis and hepatic lipogenic gene expression. Collectively, our findings suggest that IL-1β signaling upregulates hepatic lipogenesis in obesity, and is essential for the induction of pathogenic hepatic steatosis in obese mice.
PMCID: PMC4162604  PMID: 25216251
5.  Molecular network analysis of phosphotyrosine and lipid metabolism in hepatic PTP1b deletion mice 
Metabolic syndrome describes a set of obesity-related disorders that increase diabetes, cardiovascular, and mortality risk. Studies of liver-specific protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1b (PTP1b) deletion mice (L-PTP1b−/−) suggest that hepatic PTP1b inhibition would mitigate metabolic-syndrome through amelioration of hepatic insulin resistance, endoplasmic-reticulum stress, and whole-body lipid metabolism. However, the altered molecular-network states underlying these phenotypes are poorly understood. We used mass spectrometry to quantitfy protein-phosphotyrosine network changes in L-PTP1b−/− mouse livers relative to control mice on normal and high-fat diets. We applied a phosphosite-set-enrichment analysis to identify known and novel pathways exhibiting PTP1b- and diet-dependent phosphotyrosine regulation. Detection of a PTP1b-dependent, but functionally uncharacterized, set of phosphosites on lipid-metabolic proteins motivated global lipidomic analyses that revealed altered polyunsaturated-fatty-acid (PUFA) and triglyceride metabolism in L-PTP1b−/− mice. To connect phosphosites and lipid measurements in a unified model, we developed a multivariate-regression framework, which accounts for measurement noise and systematically missing proteomics data. This analysis resulted in quantitative models that predict roles for phosphoproteins involved in oxidation-reduction in altered PUFA and triglyceride metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3759823  PMID: 23685806
PTP1b; Phosphoproteomics; Lipidomics; Liver; Computational Modeling
6.  Interleukin-10 Prevents Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance by Attenuating Macrophage and Cytokine Response in Skeletal Muscle 
Diabetes  2009;58(11):2525-2535.
Insulin resistance is a major characteristic of type 2 diabetes and is causally associated with obesity. Inflammation plays an important role in obesity-associated insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Interleukin (IL)-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with lower circulating levels in obese subjects, and acute treatment with IL-10 prevents lipid-induced insulin resistance. We examined the role of IL-10 in glucose homeostasis using transgenic mice with muscle-specific overexpression of IL-10 (MCK-IL10).
MCK-IL10 and wild-type mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 3 weeks, and insulin sensitivity was determined using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in conscious mice. Biochemical and molecular analyses were performed in muscle to assess glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and inflammatory responses.
MCK-IL10 mice developed with no obvious anomaly and showed increased whole-body insulin sensitivity. After 3 weeks of HFD, MCK-IL10 mice developed comparable obesity to wild-type littermates but remained insulin sensitive in skeletal muscle. This was mostly due to significant increases in glucose metabolism, insulin receptor substrate-1, and Akt activity in muscle. HFD increased macrophage-specific CD68 and F4/80 levels in wild-type muscle that was associated with marked increases in tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-6, and C-C motif chemokine receptor-2 levels. In contrast, MCK-IL10 mice were protected from diet-induced inflammatory response in muscle.
These results demonstrate that IL-10 increases insulin sensitivity and protects skeletal muscle from obesity-associated macrophage infiltration, increases in inflammatory cytokines, and their deleterious effects on insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of anti-inflammatory cytokine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2768157  PMID: 19690064
7.  Nutrient Stress Activates Inflammation and Reduces Glucose Metabolism by Suppressing AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in the Heart 
Diabetes  2009;58(11):2536-2546.
Heart failure is a major cause of mortality in diabetes and may be causally associated with altered metabolism. Recent reports indicate a role of inflammation in peripheral insulin resistance, but the impact of inflammation on cardiac metabolism is unknown. We investigated the effects of diet-induced obesity on cardiac inflammation and glucose metabolism in mice.
Male C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks, and heart samples were taken to measure insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, and inflammation. Heart samples were also examined following acute interleukin (IL)-6 or lipid infusion in C57BL/6 mice and in IL-6 knockout mice following an HFD.
Diet-induced obesity reduced cardiac glucose metabolism, GLUT, and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) levels, and this was associated with increased levels of macrophages, toll-like receptor 4, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), and cytokines in heart. Acute physiological elevation of IL-6 suppressed glucose metabolism and caused insulin resistance by increasing SOCS3 and via SOCS3-mediated inhibition of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and possibly AMPK in heart. Diet-induced inflammation and defects in glucose metabolism were attenuated in IL-6 knockout mice, implicating the role of IL-6 in obesity-associated cardiac inflammation. Acute lipid infusion caused inflammation and raised local levels of macrophages, C-C motif chemokine receptor 2, SOCS3, and cytokines in heart. Lipid-induced cardiac inflammation suppressed AMPK, suggesting the role of lipid as a nutrient stress triggering inflammation.
Our findings that nutrient stress activates cardiac inflammation and that IL-6 suppresses myocardial glucose metabolism via inhibition of AMPK and IRS-1 underscore the important role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of diabetic heart.
PMCID: PMC2768176  PMID: 19690060
8.  Altered miRNA processing disrupts brown/white adipocyte determination and associates with lipodystrophy 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(8):3339-3351.
miRNAs are important regulators of biological processes in many tissues, including the differentiation and function of brown and white adipocytes. The endoribonuclease dicer is a major component of the miRNA-processing pathway, and in adipose tissue, levels of dicer have been shown to decrease with age, increase with caloric restriction, and influence stress resistance. Here, we demonstrated that mice with a fat-specific KO of dicer develop a form of lipodystrophy that is characterized by loss of intra-abdominal and subcutaneous white fat, severe insulin resistance, and enlargement and “whitening” of interscapular brown fat. Additionally, KO of dicer in cultured brown preadipocytes promoted a white adipocyte–like phenotype and reduced expression of several miRNAs. Brown preadipocyte whitening was partially reversed by expression of miR-365, a miRNA known to promote brown fat differentiation; however, introduction of other miRNAs, including miR-346 and miR-362, also contributed to reversal of the loss of the dicer phenotype. Interestingly, fat samples from patients with HIV-related lipodystrophy exhibited a substantial downregulation of dicer mRNA expression. Together, these findings indicate the importance of miRNA processing in white and brown adipose tissue determination and provide a potential link between this process and HIV-related lipodystrophy.
PMCID: PMC4109560  PMID: 24983316
9.  Inflammation and Insulin Resistance: An Old Story with New Ideas 
Korean Diabetes Journal  2010;34(3):137-145.
Years before insulin was discovered, anti-inflammatory sodium salicylate was used to treat diabetes in 1901. Intriguingly for many years that followed, diabetes was viewed as a disorder of glucose metabolism, and then it was described as a disease of dysregulated lipid metabolism. The diabetes research focused on the causal relationship between obesity and insulin resistance, a major characteristic of type 2 diabetes. It is only within the past 20 years when the notion of inflammation as a cause of insulin resistance began to surface. In obesity, inflammation develops when macrophages infiltrate adipose tissue and stimulate adipocyte secretion of inflammatory cytokines, that in turn affect energy balance, glucose and lipid metabolism, leading to insulin resistance. This report reviews recent discoveries of stress kinase signaling involving molecular scaffolds and endoplasmic reticulum chaperones that regulate energy balance and glucose homeostasis. As we advance from a conceptual understanding to molecular discoveries, a century-old story of inflammation and insulin resistance is re-born with new ideas.
PMCID: PMC2898926  PMID: 20617073
Obesity; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Stress kinase
10.  JNK Expression by Macrophages Promotes Obesity-induced Insulin Resistance and Inflammation 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2012;339(6116):10.1126/science.1227568.
The cJun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway contributes to inflammation and plays a key role in the metabolic response to obesity, including insulin resistance. Macrophages are implicated in this process. To test the role of JNK, we established mice with selective JNK-deficiency in macrophages. We report that feeding a high fat diet to control and JNK-deficient mice caused similar obesity, but only mice with JNK-deficient macrophages remained insulin sensitive. The protection of mice with macrophage-specific JNK-deficiency against insulin resistance was associated with reduced tissue infiltration by macrophages. Immunophenotyping demonstrated that JNK was required for pro-inflammatory macrophage polarization. These studies demonstrate that JNK in macrophages is required for the establishment of obesity-induced insulin resistance and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3835653  PMID: 23223452
11.  Gut-derived serotonin is a multifunctional determinant to fasting adaptation 
Cell metabolism  2012;16(5):588-600.
PMCID: PMC3696514  PMID: 23085101
12.  BAF60c drives glycolytic muscle formation and improves glucose homeostasis through Deptor-mediated AKT activation 
Nature medicine  2013;19(5):640-645.
A shift from oxidative to glycolytic metabolism has been associated with skeletal muscle insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes1–5. However, whether this metabolic switch is deleterious or adaptive remains controversial6–8, in part due to limited understanding of the regulatory network that directs the metabolic and contractile specification of fast-twitch glycolytic muscle. Here we show that BAF60c, a transcriptional cofactor enriched in fast-twitch muscle, promotes a switch from oxidative to glycolytic myofiber type through Deptor-mediated AKT activation. Muscle-specific transgenic expression of BAF60c activates a program of molecular, metabolic, and contractile changes characteristic of glycolytic muscle. In addition, BAF60c is required for maintaining glycolytic capacity in adult skeletal muscle in vivo. BAF60c expression is significantly decreased in skeletal muscle from obese mice. Unexpectedly, transgenic activation of the glycolytic muscle program by BAF60c protects mice from diet-induced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Further mechanistic studies revealed that Deptor is induced by the BAF60c/Six4 transcriptional complex and mediates activation of AKT and glycolytic metabolism by BAF60c in a cell-autonomous manner. This work defines a fundamental mechanism underlying the specification of fast glycolytic muscle and illustrates that the oxidative to glycolytic metabolic shift in skeletal muscle is potentially adaptive and beneficial in the diabetic state.
PMCID: PMC3650110  PMID: 23563706
13.  KLF15 Is a Molecular Link between Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Insulin Resistance 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77851.
Obesity places major demands on the protein folding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), resulting in ER stress, a condition that promotes hepatic insulin resistance and steatosis. Here we identify the transcription factor, Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), as an essential mediator of ER stress-induced insulin resistance in the liver. Mice with a targeted deletion of KLF15 exhibit increased hepatic ER stress, inflammation, and JNK activation compared to WT mice; however, KLF15-/- mice are protected against hepatic insulin resistance and fatty liver under high-fat feeding conditions and in response to pharmacological induction of ER stress. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a key regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, has been shown to cooperate with ER stress signaling pathways to promote hepatic insulin resistance and lipid accumulation. We find that the uncoupling of ER stress and insulin resistance in KLF15-/- liver is associated with the maintenance of a low energy state characterized by decreased mTORC1 activity, increased AMPK phosphorylation and PGC-1α expression and activation of autophagy, an intracellular degradation process that enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, in primary hepatocytes, KLF15 deficiency markedly inhibits activation of mTORC1 by amino acids and insulin, suggesting a mechanism by which KLF15 controls mTORC1-mediated insulin resistance. This study establishes KLF15 as an important molecular link between ER stress and insulin action.
PMCID: PMC3805598  PMID: 24167585
14.  Role of the mixed-lineage protein kinase pathway in the metabolic stress response to obesity 
Cell reports  2013;4(4):681-688.
Saturated free fatty acid (FFA) is implicated in the metabolic response to obesity. In vitro studies indicate that FFA signaling may be mediated by the mixed-lineage protein kinase (MLK) pathway that activates cJun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). Here we examined the role of the MLK pathway in vivo using a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. The ubiquitously expressed MLK2 and MLK3 protein kinases have partially redundant functions. We therefore compared wild-type and compound mutant mice that lack expression of MLK2 plus MLK3. MLK-deficiency protected mice against high fat diet-induced insulin resistance and obesity. Reduced JNK activation and increased energy expenditure contribute to the metabolic effects of MLK-deficiency. These data confirm that the MLK pathway plays a critical role in the metabolic response to obesity.
PMCID: PMC3769115  PMID: 23954791
Aging Cell  2012;11(2):284-296.
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is a negative regulator of insulin signaling and a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes (T2DM). In this study, we have evaluated the role of PTP1B in the development of aging-associated obesity, inflammation and peripheral insulin resistance by assessing metabolic parameters at 3 and 16 months in PTP1B−/− mice maintained on mixed genetic background (C57Bl/6J x 129Sv/J). Whereas fat mass and adipocyte size were increased in wild-type control mice at 16 months, these parameters did not change with aging in PTP1B−/− mice. Increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, crown-like structures and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α were observed only in adipose tissue from 16-month old wild-type mice. Similarly, islet hyperplasia and hyperinsulinemia were observed in wild-type mice with aging-associated obesity, but not in PTP1B−/− animals. Leanness in 16-month old PTP-1B−/− mice was associated with increased energy expenditure. Whole body insulin sensitivity decreased in 16-month old control mice; however studies with the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp revealed that PTP1B-deficiency prevented this obesity-related decreased peripheral insulin sensitivity. At a molecular level, PTP1B expression and enzymatic activity were up-regulated in liver and muscle of 16-month old wild-type mice as were the activation of stress kinases and the expression of p53. Conversely, insulin receptor-mediated Akt/Foxo1 signaling was attenuated in these aged control mice. Collectively, these data implicate PTP1B in the development of inflammation and insulin resistance associated with obesity during aging and suggest that inhibition of this phosphatase by therapeutic strategies might protect against age-dependent T2DM.
PMCID: PMC3306541  PMID: 22221695
insulin resistance; type 2 diabetes; obesity; inflammation; PTP1B
16.  New Insights into insulin resistance in the diabetic heart 
Insulin resistance is a major characteristic of obesity and type 2 diabetes and develops in multiple organs, including the heart. Compared to other organs, the physiological role of cardiac insulin resistance is not well understood. The heart uses lipid as a primary fuel, but glucose becomes an important source of energy in ischemia. The impaired ability to utilize glucose may contribute to cell death and abnormal function in the diabetic heart. Recent discoveries on the role of inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ER stress in obesity have advanced our understanding of how insulin resistance develops in peripheral organs. This review will apply these findings to the diabetic heart to provide new insights into the mechanism of cardiac insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3183400  PMID: 21680199
17.  Long-term, efficient inhibition of microRNA function in mice using rAAV vectors 
Nature methods  2012;9(4):403-409.
Understanding the function of individual microRNA (miRNA) species in mice would require the production of hundreds of loss-of-function strains. To accelerate analysis of miRNA biology in mammals, we combined recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors with miRNA `Tough Decoys' (TuDs) to inhibit specific miRNAs. Intravenous injection of rAAV9 expressing anti-miR-122 or anti-let-7 TuD depleted the corresponding miRNA and increased its mRNA targets. rAAV producing anti-miR-122—but not anti-let-7—TuD reduced serum cholesterol by >30% for 25 weeks in wild-type mice. High throughput sequencing of liver miRNAs from the treated mice confirmed that the targeted miRNAs were depleted and revealed that TuD RNAs induce miRNA tailing and trimming in vivo. rAAV-mediated miRNA inhibition thus provides a simple way to study miRNA function in adult mammals and a potential therapy for dyslipidemia and other diseases caused by miRNA deregulation.
PMCID: PMC3420816  PMID: 22388288
19.  Links Between Insulin Resistance, Adenosine A2B Receptors, and Inflammatory Markers in Mice and Humans 
Diabetes  2011;60(2):669-679.
To determine the mechanisms by which blockade of adenosine A2B receptors (A2BRs) reduces insulin resistance.
We investigated the effects of deleting or blocking the A2BR on insulin sensitivity using glucose tolerance tests (GTTs) and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in mouse models of type 2 diabetes. The effects of diabetes on A2BR transcription and signaling were measured in human and mouse macrophages and mouse endothelial cells. In addition, tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ∼42 kb encompassing the A2BR gene, ADORA2B, were evaluated for associations with markers of diabetes and inflammation.
Treatment of mice with the nonselective adenosine receptor agonist 5′-N-ethylcarboxamidoadensoine (NECA) increased fasting blood glucose and slowed glucose disposal during GTTs. These responses were inhibited by A2BR deletion or blockade and minimally affected by deletion of A1Rs or A2ARs. During hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp of diabetic KKAY mice, A2BR antagonism increased glucose infusion rate, reduced hepatic glucose production, and increased glucose uptake into skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue. Diabetes caused a four- to sixfold increase in A2BR mRNA in endothelial cells and macrophages and resulted in enhanced interleukin (IL)-6 production in response to NECA due to activation of protein kinases A and C. Five consecutive tag SNPs in ADORA2B were highly correlated with IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP). Diabetes had a highly significant independent effect on variation in inflammatory markers. The strength of associations between several ADORA2B SNPs and inflammatory markers was increased when accounting for diabetes status.
Diabetes affects the production of adenosine and the expression of A2BRs that stimulate IL-6 and CRP production, insulin resistance, and the association between ADORA2B SNPs and inflammatory markers. We hypothesize that increased A2BR signaling in diabetes increases insulin resistance in part by elevating proinflammatory mediators. Selective A2BR blockers may be useful to treat insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3028369  PMID: 21270276
20.  Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element Binding Protein Deficiency Stimulates PTEN and Stat3 mRNA Translation and Induces Hepatic Insulin Resistance 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(1):e1002457.
The cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein CPEB1 (CPEB) regulates germ cell development, synaptic plasticity, and cellular senescence. A microarray analysis of mRNAs regulated by CPEB unexpectedly showed that several encoded proteins are involved in insulin signaling. An investigation of Cpeb1 knockout mice revealed that the expression of two particular negative regulators of insulin action, PTEN and Stat3, were aberrantly increased. Insulin signaling to Akt was attenuated in livers of CPEB–deficient mice, suggesting that they might be defective in regulating glucose homeostasis. Indeed, when the Cpeb1 knockout mice were fed a high-fat diet, their livers became insulin-resistant. Analysis of HepG2 cells, a human liver cell line, depleted of CPEB demonstrated that this protein directly regulates the translation of PTEN and Stat3 mRNAs. Our results show that CPEB regulated translation is a key process involved in insulin signaling.
Author Summary
One major hallmark of diabetes is insulin resistance in peripheral tissues that is controlled at the posttranslational level. For example, insulin activates a kinase cascade that leads to the phosphorylation of Akt, a centrally important molecule that regulates glucose metabolism. In this study, we define a translational regulatory pathway that mediates insulin action in the liver. The Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Binding Protein (CPEB) interacts with mRNA to control translation; knockout mice that lack CPEB exhibit high-fat-diet-induced liver insulin resistance and do so by having aberrant expression of major insulin signaling molecules, in particular PTEN 3 and Stat3. Our data further suggest that CPEB modulates, in a manner similar to a rheostat, functionally related mRNAs that encode proteins involved in insulin signaling.
PMCID: PMC3257279  PMID: 22253608
21.  A Role for CEACAM2 in the Central Control of Energy Balance and Peripheral Insulin Action 
Gastroenterology  2010;139(2):644-652.e1.
Background & Aims:
The carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) exhibits pleotropic functions, including promoting hepatic insulin clearance. The current studies investigate the functions of its close relative, CEACAM2, with more limited tissue-specific distribution.
A global Ceacam2 (Cc2−/−) null mouse (on 129/Sv × C57BL/6J) was generated. Females were subjected to hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, indirect calorimetry, body fat composition, and pair-feeding followed by insulin tolerance test for phenotypic characterization.
Female, but not male Cc2−/− mice exhibit obesity, which results from hyperphagia and reduced energy expenditure. Hyperphagia leads to peripheral insulin resistance, as demonstrated by pair-feeding experiments. Whereas insulin action is normal in liver, it is compromised in skeletal muscle, which exhibits incomplete fatty acid oxidation and impaired glucose uptake and disposal. The mechanism of hyperphagia in Cc2−/− mice is not well delineated, but appears to result partly from hyperinsulinemia-induced hypothalamic fatty acid synthase level and activity. Hyperinsulinemia is, in turn, caused by increased insulin secretion.
Consistent with the absence of CEACAM2 from peripheral insulin target tissues and its localization to the hypothalamus, the phenotype of Cc2−/− mice identifies a novel role for CEACAM2 in the central regulation of energy balance and insulin sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC2910848  PMID: 20381490
hypothalamic obesity; hyperphagia; CEACAM2; energy balance
22.  PKCζ-regulated inflammation in the non-hematopoietic compartment is critical for obesity-induced glucose intolerance 
Cell metabolism  2010;12(1):65-77.
Obesity-induced inflammation is critical for the development of insulin resistance. Here we show, that genetic inactivation of PKCζ in vivo leads to a hyperinflammatory state in obese mice that correlates with a higher glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Previous studies implicated PKCζ in the regulation of type 2 inflammatory responses in T cells. By using ex vivo and in vivo experiments, here we demonstrate that although PKCζ is involved in the alternative (M2) activation of macrophages, surprisingly, PKCζ ablation in the non-hematopoietic compartment but not in the hematopoietic system is sufficient to drive inflammation and IL-6 synthesis in the adipose tissue, as well as insulin resistance. Experiments using PKCζ/IL-6 double-knockout mice demonstrated that IL-6 production accounts for obesity-associated glucose intolerance induced by PKCζ deficiency. These results establish PKCζ as a critical negative regulator of IL-6 in the control of obesity-induced inflammation in adipocytes.
PMCID: PMC2907185  PMID: 20620996
23.  Early Hepatic Insulin Resistance Precedes the Onset of Diabetes in Obese C57BLKS-db/db Mice 
Diabetes  2010;59(7):1616-1625.
To identify metabolic derangements contributing to diabetes susceptibility in the leptin receptor–deficient obese C57BLKS/J-db/db (BKS-db) mouse strain.
Young BKS-db mice were used to identify metabolic pathways contributing to the development of diabetes. Using the diabetes-resistant B6-db strain as a comparison, in vivo and in vitro approaches were applied to identify metabolic and molecular differences between the two strains.
Despite higher plasma insulin levels, BKS-db mice exhibit lower lipogenic gene expression, rate of lipogenesis, hepatic triglyceride and glycogen content, and impaired insulin suppression of gluconeogenic genes. Hepatic insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and IRS-2 expression and insulin-stimulated Akt-phosphorylation are decreased in BKS-db primary hepatocytes. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies indicate that in contrast to hepatic insulin resistance, skeletal muscle is more insulin sensitive in BKS-db than in B6-db mice. We also demonstrate that elevated plasma triglyceride levels in BKS-db mice are associated with reduced triglyceride clearance due to lower lipase activities.
Our study demonstrates the presence of metabolic derangements in BKS-db before the onset of β-cell failure and identifies early hepatic insulin resistance as a component of the BKS-db phenotype. We propose that defects in hepatic insulin signaling contribute to the development of diabetes in the BKS-db mouse strain.
PMCID: PMC2889760  PMID: 20393148
24.  Fat Cell–Specific Ablation of Rictor in Mice Impairs Insulin-Regulated Fat Cell and Whole-Body Glucose and Lipid Metabolism 
Diabetes  2010;59(6):1397-1406.
Rictor is an essential component of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex (mTORC) 2, a kinase that phosphorylates and activates Akt, an insulin signaling intermediary that regulates glucose and lipid metabolism in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver. To determine the physiological role of rictor/mTORC2 in insulin signaling and action in fat cells, we developed fat cell–specific rictor knockout (FRic−/−) mice.
Insulin signaling and glucose and lipid metabolism were studied in FRic−/− fat cells. In vivo glucose metabolism was evaluated by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp.
Loss of rictor in fat cells prevents insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Akt at S473, which, in turn, impairs the phosphorylation of downstream targets such as FoxO3a at T32 and AS160 at T642. However, glycogen synthase kinase-3β phosphorylation at S9 is not affected. The signaling defects in FRic−/− fat cells lead to impaired insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane and decreased glucose transport. Furthermore, rictor-null fat cells are unable to suppress lipolysis in response to insulin, leading to elevated circulating free fatty acids and glycerol. These metabolic perturbations are likely to account for defects observed at the whole-body level of FRic−/− mice, including glucose intolerance, marked hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and liver, and hepatic steatosis.
Rictor/mTORC2 in fat cells plays an important role in whole-body energy homeostasis by mediating signaling necessary for the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism in fat cells.
PMCID: PMC2874700  PMID: 20332342
25.  Requirement of the ATM/p53 Tumor Suppressor Pathway for Glucose Homeostasis▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;30(24):5787-5794.
Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) patients can develop multiple clinical pathologies, including neuronal degeneration, an elevated risk of cancer, telangiectasias, and growth retardation. Patients with A-T can also exhibit an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The ATM protein kinase, the product of the gene mutated in A-T patients (Atm), has been implicated in metabolic disease, which is characterized by insulin resistance and increased cholesterol and lipid levels, blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. ATM phosphorylates the p53 tumor suppressor on a site (Ser15) that regulates transcription activity. To test whether the ATM pathway that regulates insulin resistance is mediated by p53 phosphorylation, we examined insulin sensitivity in mice with a germ line mutation that replaces the p53 phosphorylation site with alanine. The loss of p53 Ser18 (murine Ser15) led to increased metabolic stress, including severe defects in glucose homeostasis. The mice developed glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. The insulin resistance correlated with the loss of antioxidant gene expression and decreased insulin signaling. N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) treatment restored insulin signaling in late-passage primary fibroblasts. The addition of an antioxidant in the diet rendered the p53 Ser18-deficient mice glucose tolerant. This analysis demonstrates that p53 phosphorylation on an ATM site is an important mechanism in the physiological regulation of glucose homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3004274  PMID: 20956556

Results 1-25 (56)