Skeletal muscle mass is regulated by a complex array of signaling pathways. TGF-β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is an important signaling protein, which regulates context-dependent activation of multiple intracellular pathways. However, the role of TAK1 in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass remains unknown. Here, we report that inducible inactivation of TAK1 causes severe muscle wasting, leading to kyphosis, in both young and adult mice.. Inactivation of TAK1 inhibits protein synthesis and induces proteolysis, potentially through upregulating the activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. Phosphorylation and enzymatic activity of AMPK are increased, whereas levels of phosphorylated mTOR and p38 MAPK are diminished upon inducible inactivation of TAK1 in skeletal muscle. In addition, targeted inactivation of TAK1 leads to the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and oxidative stress in skeletal muscle of adult mice. Inhibition of TAK1 does not attenuate denervation-induced muscle wasting in adult mice. Finally, TAK1 activity is highly upregulated during overload-induced skeletal muscle growth, and inactivation of TAK1 prevents myofiber hypertrophy in response to functional overload. Overall, our study demonstrates that TAK1 is a key regulator of skeletal muscle mass and oxidative metabolism.
Sajedah M. Hindi, Shuichi Sato, Guangyan Xiong, Kyle R. Bohnert, Andrew A. Gibb, Yann S. Gallot, Joseph D. McMillan, Bradford G. Hill, Shizuka Uchida, Ashok Kumar
Membrane lipid composition is central to the highly specialized functions of neurological tissues. In the retina, abnormal lipid metabolism causes severe forms of blindness, often through poorly understood neuronal cell death. Here, we demonstrate that deleting the de novo lipogenic enzyme fatty acid synthase (FAS) from the neural retina, but not the vascular retina, results in progressive neurodegeneration and blindness with a temporal pattern resembling rodent models of retinitis pigmentosa. Blindness was not rescued by protection from light-evoked activity; by eating a diet enriched in palmitate, the product of the FAS reaction; or by treatment with the PPARα agonist fenofibrate. Vision loss was due to aberrant synaptic structure, blunted responsiveness to glial-derived neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor, and eventual apoptotic cell loss. This progressive neurodegeneration was associated with decreased membrane cholesterol content, as well as loss of discrete n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid– and saturated fatty acid–containing phospholipid species within specialized membrane microdomains. Neurotrophic signaling was restored by exogenous cholesterol delivery. These findings implicate de novo lipogenesis in neurotrophin-dependent cell survival by maintaining retinal membrane configuration and lipid composition, and they suggest that ongoing lipogenesis may be required to prevent cell death in many forms of retinopathy.
Rithwick Rajagopal, Sheng Zhang, Xiaochao Wei, Teresa Doggett, Sangeeta Adak, Jennifer Enright, Vaishali Shah, Guoyu Ling, Shiming Chen, Jun Yoshino, Fong-Fu Hsu, Clay F. Semenkovich
Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with insulin therapy, limiting both its safety and efficacy. The concept of modifying insulin to render its glucose-responsive release from an injection depot (of an insulin complexed exogenously with a recombinant lectin) was proposed approximately 4 decades ago but has been challenging to achieve. Data presented here demonstrate that mannosylated insulin analogs can undergo an additional route of clearance as result of their interaction with endogenous mannose receptor (MR), and this can occur in a glucose-dependent fashion, with increased binding to MR at low glucose. Yet, these analogs retain capacity for binding to the insulin receptor (IR). When the blood glucose level is elevated, as in individuals with diabetes mellitus, MR binding diminishes due to glucose competition, leading to reduced MR-mediated clearance and increased partitioning for IR binding and consequent glucose lowering. These studies demonstrate that a glucose-dependent locus of insulin clearance and, hence, insulin action can be achieved by targeting MR and IR concurrently.
Ruojing Yang, Margaret Wu, Songnian Lin, Ravi P. Nargund, Xinghai Li, Theresa Kelly, Lin Yan, Ge Dai, Ying Qian, Qing Dallas-yang, Paul A. Fischer, Yan Cui, Xiaolan Shen, Pei Huo, Danqing Dennis Feng, Mark D. Erion, David E. Kelley, James Mu
Many theories have been advanced to better understand why β cell function and structure relentlessly deteriorate during the course of type 2 diabetes (T2D). These theories include inflammation, apoptosis, replication, neogenesis, autophagy, differentiation, dedifferentiation, and decreased levels of insulin gene regulatory proteins. However, none of these have considered the possibility that endogenous self-repair of existing β cells may be an important factor. To examine this hypothesis, we conducted studies with female Zucker diabetic fatty rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 18, or 28 days, followed by a return to regular chow for 2–3 weeks. Repair was defined as reversal of elevated blood glucose and of inappropriately low blood insulin levels caused by a HFD, as well as reversal of structural damage visualized by imaging studies. We observed evidence of functional β cell damage after a 9-day exposure to a HFD and then repair after 2–3 weeks of being returned to normal chow (blood glucose [BG] = 348 ± 30 vs. 126 ± 3; mg/dl; days 9 vs. 23 day, P < 0.01). After 18- and 28-day exposure to a HFD, damage was more severe and repair was less evident. Insulin levels progressively diminished with 9-day exposure to a HFD; after returning to a regular diet, insulin levels rebounded toward, but did not reach, normal values. Increase in β cell mass was 4-fold after 9 days and 3-fold after 18 days, and there was no increase after 28 days of a HFD. Increases in β cell mass during a HFD were not different when comparing values before and after a return to regular diet within the 9-, 18-, or 28-day studies. No changes were observed in apoptosis or β cell replication. Formation of intracellular markers of oxidative stress, intranuclear translocation of Nrf2, and formation of intracellular antioxidant proteins indicated the participation of HFD/oxidative stress induction of the Nrf2/antioxidant pathway. Flow cytometry–based assessment of β cell volume, morphology, and insulin-specific immunoreactivity, as well as ultrastructural analysis by transmission electron microscopy, revealed that short-term exposure to a HFD produced significant changes in β cell morphology and function that are reversible after returning to regular chow. These results suggest that a possible mechanism mediating the ability of β cells to self-repair after a short-term exposure to a HFD is the activation of the Nrf2/antioxidant pathway.
Tsehay Abebe, Jana Mahadevan, Lindsey Bogachus, Stephanie Hahn, Michele Black, Elizabeth Oseid, Fumihiko Urano, Vincenzo Cirulli, R. Paul Robertson
Childhood obesity is a major global concern, with over 50 million children now classified as obese. Obesity has been linked to the development of numerous chronic inflammatory diseases, including type 2 diabetes and multiple cancers. NK cells are a subset of innate effector cells, which play an important role in the regulation of adipose tissue and antitumor immunity. NK cells can spontaneously kill transformed cells and coordinate subsequent immune responses through their production of cytokines. We investigated the effect of obesity on NK cells in a cohort of obese children, compared to children with a healthy weight. We demonstrated a reduction in peripheral NK cell frequencies in childhood obesity and inverse correlations with body mass index and insulin resistance. Compared with NK cells from children with normal weight, we show increased NK cell activation and metabolism in obese children (PD-1, mTOR activation, ECAR, and mitochondrial ROS), along with a reduced capacity to respond to stimulus, ultimately leading to loss of function (proliferation and tumor lysis). Collectively we show that NK cells from obese children are activated, metabolically stressed, and losing the ability to perform their basic duties. Paired with the reduction in NK cell frequencies in childhood obesity, this suggests that the negative effect on antitumor immunity is present early in the life course of obesity and certainly many years before the development of overt malignancies.
Laura M. Tobin, Meenal Mavinkurve, Eirin Carolan, David Kinlen, Eoin C. O’Brien, Mark A. Little, David K. Finlay, Declan Cody, Andrew E. Hogan, Donal O’Shea
Cardiac hypertrophic remodeling during chronic hemodynamic stress is associated with a switch in preferred energy substrate from fatty acids to glucose, usually considered to be energetically favorable. The mechanistic interrelationship between altered energy metabolism, remodeling, and function remains unclear. The ROS-generating NADPH oxidase-4 (Nox4) is upregulated in the overloaded heart, where it ameliorates adverse remodeling. Here, we show that Nox4 redirects glucose metabolism away from oxidation but increases fatty acid oxidation, thereby maintaining cardiac energetics during acute or chronic stresses. The changes in glucose and fatty acid metabolism are interlinked via a Nox4-ATF4–dependent increase in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, which mediates the attachment of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAcylation) to the fatty acid transporter CD36 and enhances fatty acid utilization. These data uncover a potentially novel redox pathway that regulates protein O-GlcNAcylation and reprograms cardiac substrate metabolism to favorably modify adaptation to chronic stress. Our results also suggest that increased fatty acid oxidation in the chronically stressed heart may be beneficial.
Adam A. Nabeebaccus, Anna Zoccarato, Anne D. Hafstad, Celio X.C. Santos, Ellen Aasum, Alison C. Brewer, Min Zhang, Matteo Beretta, Xiaoke Yin, James A. West, Katrin Schröder, Julian L. Griffin, Thomas R. Eykyn, E. Dale Abel, Manuel Mayr, Ajay M. Shah
Increased sugar consumption is a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome including obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, insulin resistance, diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Carbohydrate responsive element–binding protein (ChREBP) is a transcription factor that responds to sugar consumption to regulate adaptive metabolic programs. Hepatic ChREBP is particularly responsive to fructose and global ChREBP-KO mice are intolerant to diets containing fructose. It has recently been suggested that ChREBP protects the liver from hepatotoxicity following high-fructose diets (HFrDs). We directly tested this hypothesis using tissue-specific ChREBP deletion. HFrD increased adiposity and impaired glucose homeostasis in control mice, responses that were prevented in liver-specific ChREBP-KO (LiChKO) mice. Moreover, LiChKO mice tolerated chronic HFrD without marked weight loss or hepatotoxicity. In contrast, intestine-specific ChREBP-KO (IChKO) mice rapidly lost weight after transition to HFrD, and this was associated with dilation of the small intestine and cecum, suggestive of malabsorption. These findings were associated with downregulation of the intestinal fructose transporter, Slc2a5, which is essential for fructose tolerance. Altogether, these results establish an essential role for intestinal, but not hepatic, ChREBP in fructose tolerance.
MiSung Kim, Inna I. Astapova, Sarah N. Flier, Sarah A. Hannou, Ludivine Doridot, Ashot Sargsyan, Henry H. Kou, Alan J. Fowler, Guosheng Liang, Mark A. Herman
BACKGROUND. Systemic inflammation and muscle wasting are highly prevalent and coexist in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD). We aimed to determine the effects of systemic inflammation on skeletal muscle protein metabolism in MHD patients. METHODS. Whole body and skeletal muscle protein turnover were assessed by stable isotope kinetic studies. We incorporated expressions of E1, E214K, E3αI, E3αII, MuRF-1, and atrogin-1 in skeletal muscle tissue from integrin β1 gene KO CKD mice models. RESULTS. Among 129 patients with mean (± SD) age 47 ± 12 years, 74% were African American, 73% were male, and 22% had diabetes mellitus. Median high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) concentration was 13 (interquartile range 0.8, 33) mg/l. There were statistically significant associations between hs-CRP and forearm skeletal muscle protein synthesis, degradation, and net forearm skeletal muscle protein balance (P < 0.001 for all). The associations remained statistically significant after adjustment for clinical and demographic confounders, as well as in sensitivity analysis, excluding patients with diabetes mellitus. In attempting to identify potential mechanisms involved in this correlation, we show increased expressions of E1, E214K, E3αI, E3αII, MuRF-1, and atrogin-1 in skeletal muscle tissue obtained from an animal model of chronic kidney disease. CONCLUSION. These data suggest that systemic inflammation is a strong and independent determinant of skeletal muscle protein homeostasis in MHD patients, providing rationale for further studies using anticytokine therapies in patients with underlying systemic inflammation. FUNDING. This study was in part supported by NIH grants R01 DK45604 and 1K24 DK62849, the Clinical Translational Science Award UL1-TR000445 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the Veterans Administration Merit Award I01 CX000414, the SatelliteHealth Normon Coplon Extramural Grant Program, and the FDA grant 000943.
Serpil M. Deger, Adriana M. Hung, Jorge L. Gamboa, Edward D. Siew, Charles D. Ellis, Cindy Booker, Feng Sha, Haiming Li, Aihua Bian, Thomas G. Stewart, Roy Zent, William E. Mitch, Naji N. Abumrad, T. Alp Ikizler
Three Akt isoforms, encoded by 3 separate genes, are expressed in mammals. While the roles of Akt1 and Akt2 in metabolism are well established, it is not yet known whether Akt3 plays a role in metabolic diseases. We now report that Akt3 protects mice from high-fat diet–induced obesity by suppressing an alternative pathway of adipogenesis via with no lysine protein kinase-1 (WNK1) and serum/glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1). We demonstrate that Akt3 specifically phosphorylates WNK1 at T58 and promotes its degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. A lack of Akt3 in adipocytes increases the WNK1 protein level, leading to activation of SGK1. SGK1, in turn, promotes adipogenesis by phosphorylating and inhibiting transcription factor FOXO1 and, subsequently, activating the transcription of PPARγ in adipocytes. Akt3-deficient mice have an increased number of adipocytes and, when fed a high-fat diet, display increased weight gain, white adipose tissue expansion, and impaired glucose homeostasis. Pharmacological blockade of SGK1 in high-fat diet–fed Akt3-deficient mice suppressed adipogenesis, prevented excessive weight gain and adiposity, and ameliorated metabolic parameters. Thus, Akt3/WNK1/SGK1 represents a potentially novel signaling pathway controlling the development of obesity.
Liang Ding, Lifang Zhang, Sudipta Biswas, Rebecca C. Schugar, J. Mark Brown, Tatiana Byzova, Eugene Podrez
Maternal obesity is a global health problem that increases offspring obesity risk. The metabolic pathways underlying early developmental programming in human infants at risk for obesity remain poorly understood, largely due to barriers in fetal/infant tissue sampling. Utilizing umbilical cord–derived mesenchymal stem cells (uMSC) from offspring of normal weight and obese mothers, we tested whether energy metabolism and gene expression differ in differentiating uMSC myocytes and adipocytes, in relation to maternal obesity exposures and/or neonatal adiposity. Biomarkers of incomplete β-oxidation were uniquely positively correlated with infant adiposity and maternal lipid levels in uMSC myocytes from offspring of obese mothers only. Metabolic and biosynthetic processes were enriched in differential gene expression analysis related to maternal obesity. In uMSC adipocytes, maternal obesity and lipids were associated with downregulation in multiple insulin-dependent energy-sensing pathways including PI3K and AMPK. Maternal lipids correlated with uMSC adipocyte upregulation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain but downregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Overall, our data revealed cell-specific alterations in metabolism and gene expression that correlated with maternal obesity and adiposity of their offspring, suggesting tissue-specific metabolic and regulatory changes in these newborn cells. We provide important insight into potential developmental programming mechanisms of increased obesity risk in offspring of obese mothers.
Peter R. Baker II, Zachary Patinkin, Allison L.B. Shapiro, Becky A. De La Houssaye, Michael Woontner, Kristen E. Boyle, Lauren Vanderlinden, Dana Dabelea, Jacob E. Friedman
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