Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2O (UBE2O) is expressed preferentially in metabolic tissues, but its role in regulating energy homeostasis has yet to be defined. Here we find that UBE2O is markedly upregulated in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes and show that whole-body disruption of Ube2o in mouse models in vivo results in improved metabolic profiles and resistance to high-fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) obesity and metabolic syndrome. With no difference in nutrient intake, Ube2o–/– mice were leaner and expended more energy than WT mice. In addition, hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies revealed that Ube2o–/– mice were profoundly insulin sensitive. Through phenotype analysis of HFD mice with muscle-, fat-, or liver–specific knockout of Ube2o, we further identified UBE2O as an essential regulator of glucose and lipid metabolism programs in skeletal muscle, but not in adipose or liver tissue. Mechanistically, UBE2O acted as a ubiquitin ligase and targeted AMPKα2 for ubiquitin-dependent degradation in skeletal muscle; further, muscle-specific heterozygous knockout of Prkaa2 ablated UBE2O-controlled metabolic processes. These results identify the UBE2O/AMPKα2 axis as both a potent regulator of metabolic homeostasis in skeletal muscle and a therapeutic target in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic disorders.
Isabelle K. Vila, Mi Kyung Park, Stephanie Rebecca Setijono, Yixin Yao, Hyejin Kim, Pierre-Marie Badin, Sekyu Choi, Vihang Narkar, Sung-Woo Choi, Jongkyeong Chung, Cedric Moro, Su Jung Song, Min Sup Song
Hormones produced by the anterior pituitary gland regulate an array of important physiological functions, but pituitary hormone disorders are not fully understood. Herein we report that genetically-engineered mice with deletion of the hedgehog signaling receptor Patched1 by S100a4 promoter-driven Cre recombinase (S100a4-Cre;Ptch1fl/fl mutants) exhibit adult-onset hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and multiple pituitary hormone disorders. During the transition from puberty to adult, S100a4-Cre;Ptch1fl/fl mice of both sexes develop hypogonadism coupled with reduced gonadotropin levels. Their pituitary glands also display severe structural and functional abnormalities, as revealed by transmission electron microscopy and expression of key genes regulating pituitary endocrine functions. S100a4-Cre activity in the anterior pituitary gland is restricted to CD45+ cells of hematopoietic origin, including folliculo-stellate cells and other immune cell types, causing sex-specific changes in the expression of genes regulating the local microenvironment of the anterior pituitary. These findings provide in vivo evidence for the importance of pituitary hematopoietic cells in regulating fertility and endocrine function, in particular during sexual maturation and likely through sexually dimorphic mechanisms. These findings support a previously unrecognized role of hematopoietic cells in causing hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and provide inroads into the molecular and cellular basis for pituitary hormone disorders in humans.
Yi Athena Ren, Teresa Monkkonen, Michael T. Lewis, Daniel J. Bernard, Helen C. Christian, Carolina J. Jorgez, Joshua A. Moore, John D. Landua, Haelee M. Chin, Weiqin Chen, Swarnima Singh, Ik Sun Kim, Xiang H.-F. Zhang, Yan Xia, Kevin J. Phillips, Harry MacKay, Robert A. Waterland, M. Cecilia Ljungberg, Pradip K. Saha, Sean M. Hartig, Tatiana Fiordelisio Coll, JoAnne S. Richards
The increased formation of methylglyoxal (MG) under hyperglycemia is associated with the development of microvascular complications in patients with diabetes mellitus; however, the effects of elevated MG levels in vivo are poorly understood. In zebrafish, a transient knockdown of glyoxalase 1, the main MG detoxifying system, led to the elevation of endogenous MG levels and blood vessel alterations. To evaluate effects of a permanent knockout of glyoxalase 1 in vivo, glo1–/– zebrafish mutants were generated using CRISPR/Cas9. In addition, a diet-induced–obesity zebrafish model was used to analyze glo1–/– zebrafish under high nutrient intake. Glo1–/– zebrafish survived until adulthood without growth deficit and showed increased tissue MG concentrations. Impaired glucose tolerance developed in adult glo1–/– zebrafish and was indicated by increased postprandial blood glucose levels and postprandial S6 kinase activation. Challenged by an overfeeding period, fasting blood glucose levels in glo1–/– zebrafish were increased which translated into retinal blood vessel alterations. Thus, the data have identified a defective MG detoxification as a metabolic prerequisite and glyoxalase 1 alterations as a genetic susceptibility to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus under high nutrition intake.
Elisabeth Lodd, Lucas M. Wiggenhauser, Jakob Morgenstern, Thomas H. Fleming, Gernot Poschet, Michael Büttner, Christoph T. Tabler, David P. Wohlfart, Peter P. Nawroth, Jens Kroll
Background: There is growing evidence to suggest that the brain is an important target for insulin action, and that states of insulin resistance may extend to the CNS with detrimental effects on cognitive functioning. Although the effect of systemic insulin resistance on peripheral organs is well-studied, the degree to which insulin impacts brain function in vivo remains unclear. Methods: This randomized, single-blinded, 2-way-crossover, sham-controlled, pilot study determined the effects of hyperinsulinemia on fMRI brain activation during a 2-back working memory task in 9 healthy older adults (aged 57-79 years). Each participant underwent two clamp procedures (an insulin infusion and a saline placebo infusion, with normoglycemia maintained during both conditions), to examine the effects of hyperinsulinemia on task performance and associated blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal using fMRI. Results: Hyperinsulinemia (compared to saline control) was associated with an increase in both the spatial extent and relative strength of task-related BOLD signal during the 2-back task. Further, the degree of increased task-related activation in select brain regions correlated with greater systemic insulin sensitivity, as well as decreased reaction times and performance accuracy between experimental conditions. Conclusion: Together, these findings provide evidence of insulin action in the CNS among older adults during periods of sustained cognitive demand, with the greatest effects noted for individuals with highest systemic insulin sensitivity. Funding: This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (5R21AG051958, 2016).
Victoria J. Williams, Bianca A. Trombetta, Rabab Z. Jafri, Aaron M. Koenig, Chase D. Wennick, Becky C. Carlyle, Laya Ekhlaspour, Rexford S. Ahima, Steven J. Russell, David H. Salat, Steven E. Arnold
BACKGROUND. Sphingolipids (SPs) are ubiquitous, structurally diverse molecules that include ceramides, sphingomyelins, and sphingosines. They are involved in various pathologies including obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Therefore, it is likely that perturbations in plasma concentrations of SPs are associated with disease. Identifying these associations may reveal useful biomarkers or provide insight into disease processes. METHODS. We performed a lipidomics evaluation of molecularly-distinct SPs in the plasma of 2,302 ethnically-Chinese Singaporeans using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry coupled with liquid chromatography. SP profiles were compared to clinical and biochemical characteristics, and subjects were evaluated by follow-up visits for 11 years. RESULTS. We found that ceramides correlate positively but hexosylceramides correlate negatively with body mass index (BMI) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Furthermore, SPs with a d16:1 sphingoid backbone correlate more positively with BMI and HOMA-IR, while d18:2 SPs correlate less positively, relative to canonical d18:1 SPs. We also found that higher concentrations of two distinct sphingomyelins were associated with a higher risk of T2DM (HR 1.45, 95% CI 1.18–1.78 for SM d16:1/C18:0; and HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.17–1.68 for SM d18:1/C18:0). CONCLUSION. We identified significant associations between SPs and obesity/T2DM characteristics, specifically, that of hexosylceramides, d16:1 SPs, and d18:2 SPs. This suggests that the balance of SP metabolism, rather than ceramide accumulation, is associated with the pathology of obesity. We further identified two specific SPs that may represent prognostic biomarkers for T2DM. FUNDING. Funding sources are listed in the Acknowledgements section
Wee Siong Chew, Federico Torta, Shanshan Ji, Hyungwon Choi, Husna Begum, Xueling Sim, Chin Meng Khoo, Eric Yin Hao Khoo, Wei-Yi Ong, Rob M. Van Dam, Markus R. Wenk, E. Shyong Tai, Deron R. Herr
Diabetic β cell failure is associated with β cell dedifferentiation. To identify effector genes of dedifferentiation, we integrated analyses of histone methylation as a surrogate of gene activation status and RNA expression in β cells sorted from mice with multiparity-induced diabetes. Interestingly, only a narrow subset of genes demonstrated concordant changes to histone methylation and RNA levels in dedifferentiating β cells. Notable among them was the α cell signature gene Gc, encoding a vitamin D-binding protein. While diabetes was associated with Gc induction, Gc-deficient islets did not induce β cell dedifferentiation markers and maintained normal ex vivo insulin secretion in the face of metabolic challenge. Moreover, Gc-deficient mice exhibited a more robust insulin secretory response than normal controls during hyperglycemic clamps. The data are consistent with a functional role of Gc activation in β cell dysfunction, and indicate that multiparity-induced diabetes is associated with altered β cell fate.
Taiyi Kuo, Manashree Damle, Bryan J. González, Dietrich Egli, Mitchell A. Lazar, Domenico Accili
Impaired insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes (T2D) is linked to reduced insulin granule docking, disorganization of the exocytotic site, and an impaired glucose-dependent facilitation of insulin exocytosis. We show in β-cells from 80 human donors that the glucose-dependent amplification of exocytosis is disrupted in T2D. Spatial analyses of granule fusion, visualized by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy in 24 of these donors, demonstrate that these are non-random across the surface of β-cells from donors with no diabetes (ND). The compartmentalization of events occurs within regions defined by concurrent or recent membrane-resident secretory granules. This organization, and the number of membrane-associated granules, is glucose-dependent and notably impaired in T2D β-cells. Mechanistically, multi-channel Kv2.1 clusters contribute to maintaining the density of membrane-resident granules and the number of fusion ‘hotspots’, while SUMOylation sites at the channel N- (K145) and C-terminus (K470) determine the relative proportion of fusion events occurring within these regions. Thus, a glucose-dependent compartmentalization of fusion, regulated in part by a structural role for Kv2.1, is disrupted in β-cells from donors with type 2 diabetes.
Jianyang Fu, John Maringa Githaka, Xiaoqing Dai, Gregory Plummer, Kunimasa Suzuki, Aliya F. Spigelman, Austin Bautista, Ryekjang Kim, Dafna Greitzer-Antes, Jocelyn E. Manning Fox, Herbert Y. Gaisano, Patrick E. MacDonald
The identification of new sources of β cells is an important endeavor with therapeutic implications for diabetes. Insulin resistance, in physiological states such as pregnancy or in pathological states such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), is characterized by a compensatory increase in β cell mass. To explore the existence of a dynamic β cell reserve, we superimposed pregnancy on the liver-specific insulin receptor–KO (LIRKO) model of insulin resistance that already exhibits β cell hyperplasia and used lineage tracing to track the source of new β cells. Although both control and LIRKO mice displayed increased β cell mass in response to the relative insulin resistance of pregnancy, the further increase in mass in the latter supported a dynamic source that could be traced to pancreatic ducts. Two observations support the translational significance of these findings. First, NOD/SCID-γ LIRKO mice that became pregnant following cotransplantation of human islets and human ducts under the kidney capsule showed enhanced β cell proliferation and an increase in ductal cells positive for transcription factors expressed during β cell development. Second, we identified duct cells positive for immature β cell markers in pancreas sections from pregnant humans and in individuals with T2D. Taken together, during increased insulin demand, ductal cells contribute to the compensatory β cell pool by differentiation/neogenesis.
Ercument Dirice, Dario F. De Jesus, Sevim Kahraman, Giorgio Basile, Raymond W.S. Ng, Abdelfattah El Ouaamari, Adrian Kee Keong Teo, Shweta Bhatt, Jiang Hu, Rohit N. Kulkarni
Biased agonism is a paradigm that may explain the selective activation of a signaling pathway via a GPCR that activates multiple signals. The autoantibody-induced inactivation of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) causes acquired hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (AHH). Here, we describe an instructive case of AHH in which severe hypercalcemia was accompanied by an increased CaSR antibody titer. These autoantibodies operated as biased allosteric modulators of CaSR by targeting its Venus flytrap domain near the Ca2+-binding site. A positive allosteric modulator of CaSR, cinacalcet, which targets its transmembrane domain, overcame this autoantibody effect and successfully corrected the hypercalcemia in this patient. Hence, this is the first study to our knowledge that identifies the interaction site of a disease-causing GPCR autoantibody working as its biased allosteric modulator and demonstrates that cinacalcet can correct the AHH autoantibody effects both in vitro and in our AHH patient. Our observations provide potentially new insights into how biased agonism works and how to design a biased allosteric modulator of a GPCR. Our observations also indicate that the diagnosis of AHH is important because the severity of hypercalcemia may become fatal if the autoantibody titer increases. Calcimimetics may serve as good treatment options for some patients with severe AHH.
Noriko Makita, Takao Ando, Junichiro Sato, Katsunori Manaka, Koji Mitani, Yasuko Kikuchi, Takayoshi Niwa, Masanori Ootaki, Yuko Takeba, Naoki Matsumoto, Atsushi Kawakami, Toshihisa Ogawa, Masaomi Nangaku, Taroh Iiri
Oligodendrocyte processes wrap axons to form neuroprotective myelin sheaths, and damage to myelin in disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), leads to neurodegeneration and disability. There are currently no approved treatments for MS that stimulate myelin repair. During development, thyroid hormone (TH) promotes myelination through enhancing oligodendrocyte differentiation; however, TH itself is unsuitable as a remyelination therapy due to adverse systemic effects. This problem is overcome with selective TH agonists, sobetirome and a CNS-selective prodrug of sobetirome called Sob-AM2. We show here that TH and sobetirome stimulated remyelination in standard gliotoxin models of demyelination. We then utilized a genetic mouse model of demyelination and remyelination, in which we employed motor function tests, histology, and MRI to demonstrate that chronic treatment with sobetirome or Sob-AM2 leads to significant improvement in both clinical signs and remyelination. In contrast, chronic treatment with TH in this model inhibited the endogenous myelin repair and exacerbated disease. These results support the clinical investigation of selective CNS-penetrating TH agonists, but not TH, for myelin repair.
Meredith D. Hartley, Tania Banerji, Ian J. Tagge, Lisa L. Kirkemo, Priya Chaudhary, Evan Calkins, Danielle Galipeau, Mitra D. Shokat, Margaret J. DeBell, Shelby Van Leuven, Hannah Miller, Gail Marracci, Edvinas Pocius, Tapasree Banerji, Skylar J. Ferrara, J. Matthew Meinig, Ben Emery, Dennis Bourdette, Thomas S. Scanlan
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