Acyl-CoA thioesterase 1 (ACOT1) catalyzes the hydrolysis of long-chain acyl-CoAs to free fatty acids and CoA and is typically upregulated in obesity. Whether targeting ACOT1 in the setting of high-fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) obesity would be metabolically beneficial is not known. Here we report that male and female ACOT1KO mice are partially protected from HFD-induced obesity, an effect associated with increased energy expenditure without alterations in physical activity or food intake. In males, ACOT1 deficiency increased mitochondrial uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) protein abundance while reducing 4-hydroxynonenal, a marker of oxidative stress, in white adipose tissue and liver of HFD-fed mice. Moreover, concurrent knockdown (KD) of UCP2 with ACOT1 in hepatocytes prevented increases in oxygen consumption observed with ACOT1 KD during high lipid loading, suggesting that UCP2-induced uncoupling may increase energy expenditure to attenuate weight gain. Together, these data indicate that targeting ACOT1 may be effective for obesity prevention during caloric excess by increasing energy expenditure.
Timothy D. Heden, Mallory P. Franklin, Christina Dailey, Mara T. Mashek, Chen Chen, Douglas G. Mashek