The epidemics of obesity and metabolic disorders have well-recognized health and economic burdens. Pharmacologic treatments for these diseases remain unsatisfactory with respect to both efficacy and side-effect profiles. Here, we have identified a potential central role for T-type calcium channels in regulating body weight maintenance and sleep. Previously, it was shown that mice lacking CaV3.1 T-type calcium channels have altered sleep/wake activity. We found that these mice were also resistant to high-fat diet–induced weight gain, without changes in food intake or sensitivity to high-fat diet–induced disruptions of diurnal rhythm. Administration of a potent and selective antagonist of T-type calcium channels, TTA-A2, to normal-weight animals prior to the inactive phase acutely increased sleep, decreased body core temperature, and prevented high-fat diet–induced weight gain. Administration of TTA-A2 to obese rodents reduced body weight and fat mass while concurrently increasing lean muscle mass. These effects likely result from better alignment of diurnal feeding patterns with daily changes in circadian physiology and potentially an increased metabolic rate during the active phase. Together, these studies reveal what we believe to be a previously unknown role for T-type calcium channels in the regulation of sleep and weight maintenance and suggest the potential for a novel therapeutic approach to treating obesity.
Victor N. Uebele, Anthony L. Gotter, Cindy E. Nuss, Richard L. Kraus, Scott M. Doran, Susan L. Garson, Duane R. Reiss, Yuxing Li, James C. Barrow, Thomas S. Reger, Zhi-Qiang Yang, Jeanine E. Ballard, Cuyue Tang, Joseph M. Metzger, Sheng-Ping Wang, Kenneth S. Koblan, John J. Renger
The branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are essential amino acids required for protein homeostasis, energy balance, and nutrient signaling. In individuals with deficiencies in BCAA, these amino acids can be preserved through inhibition of the branched-chain-α-ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKD) complex, the rate-limiting step in their metabolism. BCKD is inhibited by phosphorylation of its E1α subunit at Ser293, which is catalyzed by BCKD kinase. During BCAA excess, phosphorylated Ser293 (pSer293) becomes dephosphorylated through the concerted inhibition of BCKD kinase and the activity of an unknown intramitochondrial phosphatase. Using unbiased, proteomic approaches, we have found that a mitochondrial-targeted phosphatase, PP2Cm, specifically binds the BCKD complex and induces dephosphorylation of Ser293 in the presence of BCKD substrates. Loss of PP2Cm completely abolished substrate-induced E1α dephosphorylation both in vitro and in vivo. PP2Cm-deficient mice exhibited BCAA catabolic defects and a metabolic phenotype similar to the intermittent or intermediate types of human maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), a hereditary disorder caused by defects in BCKD activity. These results indicate that PP2Cm is the endogenous BCKD phosphatase required for nutrient-mediated regulation of BCKD activity and suggest that defects in PP2Cm may be responsible for a subset of human MSUD.
Gang Lu, Haipeng Sun, Pengxiang She, Ji-Youn Youn, Sarah Warburton, Peipei Ping, Thomas M. Vondriska, Hua Cai, Christopher J. Lynch, Yibin Wang
Hepatic steatosis is present in insulin-resistant obese rodents and is concomitant with active lipogenesis. Hepatic lipogenesis depends on the insulin-induced activation of the transcription factor SREBP-1c. Despite prevailing insulin resistance, SREBP-1c is activated in the livers of genetically and diet-induced obese rodents. Recent studies have reported the presence of an ER stress response in the livers of obese ob/ob mice. To assess whether ER stress promotes SREBP-1c activation and thus contributes to lipogenesis, we overexpressed the chaperone glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) in the livers of ob/ob mice using an adenoviral vector. GRP78 overexpression reduced ER stress markers and inhibited SREBP-1c cleavage and the expression of SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 target genes. Furthermore, hepatic triglyceride and cholesterol contents were reduced, and insulin sensitivity improved, in GRP78-injected mice. These metabolic improvements were likely mediated by restoration of IRS-2 expression and tyrosine phosphorylation. Interestingly, GRP78 overexpression also inhibited insulin-induced SREBP-1c cleavage in cultured primary hepatocytes. These findings demonstrate that GRP78 inhibits both insulin-dependent and ER stress–dependent SREBP-1c proteolytic cleavage and explain the role of ER stress in hepatic steatosis in obese rodents.
Hélène L. Kammoun, Hervé Chabanon, Isabelle Hainault, Serge Luquet, Christophe Magnan, Tatsuro Koike, Pascal Ferré, Fabienne Foufelle
High dietary fat intake leads to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, and this represents a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress have been implicated in the disease process, but the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Here we show that in skeletal muscle of both rodents and humans, a diet high in fat increases the H2O2-emitting potential of mitochondria, shifts the cellular redox environment to a more oxidized state, and decreases the redox-buffering capacity in the absence of any change in mitochondrial respiratory function. Furthermore, we show that attenuating mitochondrial H2O2 emission, either by treating rats with a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant or by genetically engineering the overexpression of catalase in mitochondria of muscle in mice, completely preserves insulin sensitivity despite a high-fat diet. These findings place the etiology of insulin resistance in the context of mitochondrial bioenergetics by demonstrating that mitochondrial H2O2 emission serves as both a gauge of energy balance and a regulator of cellular redox environment, linking intracellular metabolic balance to the control of insulin sensitivity.
Ethan J. Anderson, Mary E. Lustig, Kristen E. Boyle, Tracey L. Woodlief, Daniel A. Kane, Chien-Te Lin, Jesse W. Price III, Li Kang, Peter S. Rabinovitch, Hazel H. Szeto, Joseph A. Houmard, Ronald N. Cortright, David H. Wasserman, P. Darrell Neufer
Resistin is an adipokine that contributes to insulin resistance in mice. In humans, however, studies investigating the link between resistin and metabolic disease are conflicting. Further complicating the matter, human resistin is produced mainly by macrophages rather than adipocytes. To address this important issue, we generated mice that lack adipocyte-derived mouse resistin but produce human resistin in a pattern similar to that found in humans, i.e., in macrophages (humanized resistin mice). When placed on a high-fat diet, the humanized resistin mice rapidly developed accelerated white adipose tissue (WAT) inflammation, leading to increased lipolysis and increased serum free fatty acids. Over time, these mice accumulated lipids, including diacylglycerols, in muscle. We found that this resulted in increased Pkcq pathway activity, leading to increased serine phosphorylation of Irs-1 and insulin resistance. Thus, although the site of resistin production differs between species, human resistin exacerbates WAT inflammation and contributes to insulin resistance.
Mohammed Qatanani, Nava R. Szwergold, David R. Greaves, Rexford S. Ahima, Mitchell A. Lazar
Metabolic dyslipidemia is characterized by high circulating triglyceride (TG) and low HDL cholesterol levels and is frequently accompanied by hepatic steatosis. Increased hepatic lipogenesis contributes to both of these problems. Because insulin fails to suppress gluconeogenesis but continues to stimulate lipogenesis in both obese and lipodystrophic insulin-resistant mice, it has been proposed that a selective postreceptor defect in hepatic insulin action is central to the pathogenesis of fatty liver and hypertriglyceridemia in these mice. Here we show that humans with generalized insulin resistance caused by either mutations in the insulin receptor gene or inhibitory antibodies specific for the insulin receptor uniformly exhibited low serum TG and normal HDL cholesterol levels. This was due at least in part to surprisingly low rates of de novo lipogenesis and was associated with low liver fat content and the production of TG-depleted VLDL cholesterol particles. In contrast, humans with a selective postreceptor defect in AKT2 manifest increased lipogenesis, elevated liver fat content, TG-enriched VLDL, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL cholesterol levels. People with lipodystrophy, a disorder characterized by particularly severe insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, demonstrated similar abnormalities. Collectively these data from humans with molecularly characterized forms of insulin resistance suggest that partial postreceptor hepatic insulin resistance is a key element in the development of metabolic dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis.
Robert K. Semple, Alison Sleigh, Peter R. Murgatroyd, Claire A. Adams, Les Bluck, Sarah Jackson, Alessandra Vottero, Dipak Kanabar, Valentine Charlton-Menys, Paul Durrington, Maria A. Soos, T. Adrian Carpenter, David J. Lomas, Elaine K. Cochran, Phillip Gorden, Stephen O’Rahilly, David B. Savage
Maternal obesity is thought to increase the offspring’s risk of juvenile obesity and metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism(s) whereby excess maternal nutrition affects fetal development remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated in nonhuman primates the effect of chronic high-fat diet (HFD) on the development of fetal metabolic systems. We found that fetal offspring from both lean and obese mothers chronically consuming a HFD had a 3-fold increase in liver triglycerides (TGs). In addition, fetal offspring from HFD-fed mothers (O-HFD) showed increased evidence of hepatic oxidative stress early in the third trimester, consistent with the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). O-HFD animals also exhibited elevated hepatic expression of gluconeogenic enzymes and transcription factors. Furthermore, fetal glycerol levels were 2-fold higher in O-HFD animals than in control fetal offspring and correlated with maternal levels. The increased fetal hepatic TG levels persisted at P180, concurrent with a 2-fold increase in percent body fat. Importantly, reversing the maternal HFD to a low-fat diet during a subsequent pregnancy improved fetal hepatic TG levels and partially normalized gluconeogenic enzyme expression, without changing maternal body weight. These results suggest that a developing fetus is highly vulnerable to excess lipids, independent of maternal diabetes and/or obesity, and that exposure to this may increase the risk of pediatric NAFLD.
Carrie E. McCurdy, Jacalyn M. Bishop, Sarah M. Williams, Bernadette E. Grayson, M. Susan Smith, Jacob E. Friedman, Kevin L. Grove
The relative activity of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in different tissues controls the partitioning of lipoprotein-derived fatty acids between sites of fat storage (adipose tissue) and oxidation (heart and skeletal muscle). Here we used a reverse genetic strategy to test the hypothesis that 4 angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTL3, -4, -5, and -6) play key roles in triglyceride (TG) metabolism in humans. We re-sequenced the coding regions of the genes encoding these proteins and identified multiple rare nonsynonymous (NS) sequence variations that were associated with low plasma TG levels but not with other metabolic phenotypes. Functional studies revealed that all mutant alleles of ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 that were associated with low plasma TG levels interfered either with the synthesis or secretion of the protein or with the ability of the ANGPTL protein to inhibit LPL. A total of 1% of the Dallas Heart Study population and 4% of those participants with a plasma TG in the lowest quartile had a rare loss-of-function mutation in ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, or ANGPTL5. Thus, ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, and ANGPTL5, but not ANGPTL6, play nonredundant roles in TG metabolism, and multiple alleles at these loci cumulatively contribute to variability in plasma TG levels in humans.
Stefano Romeo, Wu Yin, Julia Kozlitina, Len A. Pennacchio, Eric Boerwinkle, Helen H. Hobbs, Jonathan C. Cohen
Defective insulin secretion in response to glucose is an important component of the β cell dysfunction seen in type 2 diabetes. As mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation plays a key role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), oxygen-sensing pathways may modulate insulin release. The von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) protein controls the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) to coordinate cellular and organismal responses to altered oxygenation. To determine the role of this pathway in controlling glucose-stimulated insulin release from pancreatic β cells, we generated mice lacking Vhl in pancreatic β cells (βVhlKO mice) and mice lacking Vhl in the pancreas (PVhlKO mice). Both mouse strains developed glucose intolerance with impaired insulin secretion. Furthermore, deletion of Vhl in β cells or the pancreas altered expression of genes involved in β cell function, including those involved in glucose transport and glycolysis, and isolated βVhlKO and PVhlKO islets displayed impaired glucose uptake and defective glucose metabolism. The abnormal glucose homeostasis was dependent on upregulation of Hif-1α expression, and deletion of Hif1a in Vhl-deficient β cells restored GSIS. Consistent with this, expression of activated Hif-1α in a mouse β cell line impaired GSIS. These data suggest that VHL/HIF oxygen-sensing mechanisms play a critical role in glucose homeostasis and that activation of this pathway in response to decreased islet oxygenation may contribute to β cell dysfunction.
James Cantley, Colin Selman, Deepa Shukla, Andrey Y. Abramov, Frauke Forstreuter, Miguel A. Esteban, Marc Claret, Steven J. Lingard, Melanie Clements, Sarah K. Harten, Henry Asare-Anane, Rachel L. Batterham, Pedro L. Herrera, Shanta J. Persaud, Michael R. Duchen, Patrick H. Maxwell, Dominic J. Withers
Neonatal diabetes is a rare monogenic form of diabetes that usually presents within the first six months of life. It is commonly caused by gain-of-function mutations in the genes encoding the Kir6.2 and SUR1 subunits of the plasmalemmal ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel. To better understand this disease, we generated a mouse expressing a Kir6.2 mutation (V59M) that causes neonatal diabetes in humans and we used Cre-lox technology to express the mutation specifically in pancreatic β cells. These β-V59M mice developed severe diabetes soon after birth, and by 5 weeks of age, blood glucose levels were markedly increased and insulin was undetectable. Islets isolated from β-V59M mice secreted substantially less insulin and showed a smaller increase in intracellular calcium in response to glucose. This was due to a reduced sensitivity of KATP channels in pancreatic β cells to inhibition by ATP or glucose. In contrast, the sulfonylurea tolbutamide, a specific blocker of KATP channels, closed KATP channels, elevated intracellular calcium levels, and stimulated insulin release in β-V59M β cells, indicating that events downstream of KATP channel closure remained intact. Expression of the V59M Kir6.2 mutation in pancreatic β cells alone is thus sufficient to recapitulate the neonatal diabetes observed in humans. β-V59M islets also displayed a reduced percentage of β cells, abnormal morphology, lower insulin content, and decreased expression of Kir6.2, SUR1, and insulin mRNA. All these changes are expected to contribute to the diabetes of β-V59M mice. Their cause requires further investigation.
Christophe A. Girard, F. Thomas Wunderlich, Kenju Shimomura, Stephan Collins, Stephan Kaizik, Peter Proks, Fernando Abdulkader, Anne Clark, Vicky Ball, Lejla Zubcevic, Liz Bentley, Rebecca Clark, Chris Church, Alison Hugill, Juris Galvanovskis, Roger Cox, Patrik Rorsman, Jens C. Brüning, Frances M. Ashcroft