[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The obesity epidemic continues rising as a global health challenge, despite the increasing public awareness and the use of lifestyle and medical interventions. The biomedical community is urged to develop new treatments to obesity. Excess energy is stored as fat in white adipose tissue (WAT), dysfunction of which lies at the core of obesity and associated metabolic disorders. By contrast, brown adipose tissue (BAT) burns fat and dissipates chemical energy as heat. The development and activation of "brown-like" adipocytes, also known as beige cells, result in WAT browning and thermogenesis. The recent discovery of brown and beige adipocytes in adult humans has sparked the exploration of the development, regulation, and function of these thermogenic adipocytes. The central nervous system drives the sympathetic nerve activity in BAT and WAT to control heat production and energy homeostasis. This review provides an overview of the integration of thermal, hormonal, and nutritional information on hypothalamic circuits in thermoregulation.
Frontiers in Endocrinology 09/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fendo.2015.00149
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The liver is a vital organ responsible for maintaining nutrient homeostasis. After a meal, insulin stimulates glycogen and lipid synthesis in the liver; in the fasted state, glucagon induces gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis, which produce glucose and ketone bodies for other tissues to use as energy sources. These metabolic changes involve spatiotemporally co-ordinated signaling cascades. O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification has been recognized as a nutrient sensor and regulatory molecular switch. This review highlights mechanistic insights into spatiotemporal regulation of liver metabolism by O-GlcNAc modification and discusses its pathophysiological implications in insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and fibrosis.
Frontiers in Endocrinology 12/2014; 5:221. DOI:10.3389/fendo.2014.00221
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induction of beige cells causes the browning of white fat and improves energy metabolism. However, the central mechanism that controls adipose tissue browning and its physiological relevance are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that fasting and chemical-genetic activation of orexigenic AgRP neurons in the hypothalamus suppress the browning of white fat. O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification of cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins regulates fundamental cellular processes. The levels of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAc modification are enriched in AgRP neurons and are elevated by fasting. Genetic ablation of OGT in AgRP neurons inhibits neuronal excitability through the voltage-dependent potassium channel, promotes white adipose tissue browning, and protects mice against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. These data reveal adipose tissue browning as a highly dynamic physiological process under central control, in which O-GlcNAc signaling in AgRP neurons is essential for suppressing thermogenesis to conserve energy in response to fasting. PAPERCLIP:
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin constitutes a principal evolutionarily conserved hormonal axis for maintaining glucose homeostasis; dysregulation of this axis causes diabetes. PGC-1α (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α) links insulin signalling to the expression of glucose and lipid metabolic genes. The histone acetyltransferase GCN5 (general control non-repressed protein 5) acetylates PGC-1α and suppresses its transcriptional activity, whereas sirtuin 1 deacetylates and activates PGC-1α. Although insulin is a mitogenic signal in proliferative cells, whether components of the cell cycle machinery contribute to its metabolic action is poorly understood. Here we report that in mice insulin activates cyclin D1-cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4), which, in turn, increases GCN5 acetyltransferase activity and suppresses hepatic glucose production independently of cell cycle progression. Through a cell-based high-throughput chemical screen, we identify a Cdk4 inhibitor that potently decreases PGC-1α acetylation. Insulin/GSK-3β (glycogen synthase kinase 3-beta) signalling induces cyclin D1 protein stability by sequestering cyclin D1 in the nucleus. In parallel, dietary amino acids increase hepatic cyclin D1 messenger RNA transcripts. Activated cyclin D1-Cdk4 kinase phosphorylates and activates GCN5, which then acetylates and inhibits PGC-1α activity on gluconeogenic genes. Loss of hepatic cyclin D1 results in increased gluconeogenesis and hyperglycaemia. In diabetic models, cyclin D1-Cdk4 is chronically elevated and refractory to fasting/feeding transitions; nevertheless further activation of this kinase normalizes glycaemia. Our findings show that insulin uses components of the cell cycle machinery in post-mitotic cells to control glucose homeostasis independently of cell division.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The covalent attachment of β-D-N-acetylglucosamine monosaccharides (O-GlcNAc) to serine/threonine residues of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins is a major regulatory mechanism in cell physiology. Aberrant O-GlcNAc modification of signaling proteins, metabolic enzymes, and transcriptional and epigenetic regulators has been implicated in cancer. Relentless growth of cancer cells requires metabolic reprogramming that is intertwined with changes in the epigenetic landscape. This review highlights the emerging role of protein O-GlcNAcylation at the interface of cancer metabolism and epigenetics.
Cancer letters 04/2014; 356(2). DOI:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.04.014 · 5.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Drosophila Groucho protein and its mammalian orthologues the transducin-like enhancers of split (TLEs) are critical transcriptional
corepressors that repress Wnt and other signaling pathways. Although it is known that Groucho/TLEs are recruited to target
genes by pathway-specific transcription factors, molecular events after the corepressor recruitment are largely unclear. We
report that association of TLEs with O-GlcNAc transferase, an enzyme that catalyzes posttranslational modification of proteins by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine, is essential for TLE-mediated transcriptional repression. Removal of O-GlcNAc from Wnt-responsive gene promoters is critical for gene activation from Wnt-responsive promoters. Thus, these studies
identify a molecular mechanism by which Groucho/TLEs repress gene transcription and provide a model whereby O-GlcNAc may control distinct intracellular signaling pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The post-translational modification of intracellular proteins by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) regulates essential cellular processes such as signal transduction, transcription, translation, and protein degradation. Misfolded, damaged, and unwanted proteins are tagged with a chain of ubiquitin moieties for degradation by the proteasome, which is critical for cellular homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the interplay between O-GlcNAcylation and ubiquitination in the control of protein degradation. Understanding the mechanisms of action of O-GlcNAcylation in the ubiquitin-proteosome system shall facilitate the development of therapeutics for human diseases such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, and neurodegenerative diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear, cytoplasmic, and mitochondrial proteins are extensively modified by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) moieties. This sugar modification regulates fundamental cellular processes in response to diverse nutritional and hormonal cues. The enzymes O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-linked β-N-acetylglucosaminase (O-GlcNAcase) mediate the addition and removal of O-GlcNAc, respectively. Aberrant O-GlcNAcylation has been implicated in a plethora of human diseases, including diabetes, cancer, aging, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease. Because metabolic dysregulation is a vital component of these diseases, unraveling the roles of O-GlcNAc in metabolism is of emerging importance. Here, we review the current understanding of the functions of O-GlcNAc in cell signaling and gene transcription involved in metabolism, and focus on its relevance to diabetes, cancer, circadian rhythm, and mitochondrial function.
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 05/2013; 24(6). DOI:10.1016/j.tem.2013.02.002 · 9.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian clocks are coupled to metabolic oscillations through nutrient-sensing pathways. Nutrient flux into the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway triggers covalent protein modification by O-linked β-D-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). Here we show that the hexosamine/O-GlcNAc pathway modulates peripheral clock oscillation. O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) promotes expression of BMAL1/CLOCK target genes and affects circadian oscillation of clock genes in vitro and in vivo. Both BMAL1 and CLOCK are rhythmically O-GlcNAcylated, and this protein modification stabilizes BMAL1 and CLOCK by inhibiting their ubiquitination. In vivo analysis of genetically modified mice with perturbed hepatic OGT expression shows aberrant circadian rhythms of glucose homeostasis. These results establish the counteraction between O-GlcNAcylation and ubiquitination as a key mechanism that regulates the circadian clock and suggest a crucial role for O-GlcNAc signaling in transducing nutritional signals to the core circadian timing machinery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatic glucose production (HGP) maintains blood glucose levels during fasting but can also exacerbate diabetic hyperglycemia. HGP is dynamically controlled by a signaling/transcriptional network that regulates the expression/activity of gluconeogenic enzymes. A key mediator of gluconeogenic gene transcription is PGC-1α. PGC-1α's activation of gluconeogenic gene expression is dependent upon its acetylation state, which is controlled by the acetyltransferase GCN5 and the deacetylase Sirt1. Nevertheless, whether other chromatin modifiers-particularly other sirtuins-can modulate PGC-1α acetylation is currently unknown. Herein, we report that Sirt6 strongly controls PGC-1α acetylation. Surprisingly, Sirt6 induces PGC-1α acetylation and suppresses HGP. Sirt6 depletion decreases PGC-1α acetylation and promotes HGP. These acetylation effects are GCN5 dependent: Sirt6 interacts with and modifies GCN5, enhancing GCN5's activity. Lepr(db/db) mice, an obese/diabetic animal model, exhibit reduced Sirt6 levels; ectopic re-expression suppresses gluconeogenic genes and normalizes glycemia. Activation of hepatic Sirt6 may therefore be therapeutically useful for treating insulin-resistant diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major cause of hyperglycemia in diabetic patients is inappropriate hepatic gluconeogenesis. PGC-1α is a master regulator of gluconeogenesis, and its activity is controlled by various posttranslational modifications. A small portion of glucose metabolizes through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, which leads to O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification of cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins. Using a proteomic approach, we identified a broad variety of proteins associated with O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), among which host cell factor C1 (HCF-1) is highly abundant. HCF-1 recruits OGT to O-GlcNAcylate PGC-1α, and O-GlcNAcylation facilitates the binding of the deubiquitinase BAP1, thus protecting PGC-1α from degradation and promoting gluconeogenesis. Glucose availability modulates gluconeogenesis through the regulation of PGC-1α O-GlcNAcylation and stability by the OGT/HCF-1 complex. Hepatic knockdown of OGT and HCF-1 improves glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice. These findings define the OGT/HCF-1 complex as a glucose sensor and key regulator of gluconeogenesis, shedding light on new strategies for treating diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recruitment of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) to promoters plays an important role in gene repression. Glucocorticoid signaling represses the transcriptional activities of NF-κB and AP-1 through direct binding, yet the molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Here we report that OGT is an important component of GR-mediated transrepression. OGT associates with ligand-bound GR in a multi-protein repression complex. Overexpression of OGT potentiates the GR transrepression pathway, whereas depletion of endogenous OGT by RNA interference abolishes the repression. The recruitment of OGT by GR leads to increased O-GlcNAcylation and decreased phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II on target genes. Functionally, overexpression of OGT enhances glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in resistant cell lines while knockdown of OGT prevents sensitive cell lines from apoptosis. These studies identify a molecular mechanism of GR transrepression, and highlight the function of O-GlcNAc in hormone signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the nuclear receptor superfamily have vital roles in regulating immunity and inflammation. The founding member, glucocorticoid receptor (GR), is the prototype to demonstrate immunomodulation via transrepression of the AP-1 and NF-κB signaling pathways. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have emerged as key regulators of inflammation. This review examines the history and current advances in nuclear receptor regulation of inflammation by the crosstalk with AP-1 and NF-κB signaling, focusing on the roles of GR and PPARs. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism by which nuclear receptors inhibit proinflammatory signaling pathways will enable novel therapies to treat chronic inflammation.
PPAR Research 09/2011; 2011(1687-4757):742785. DOI:10.1155/2011/742785 · 1.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have proposed roles for hypothalamic reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the modulation of circuit activity of the melanocortin system. Here we show that suppression of ROS diminishes pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) cell activation and promotes the activity of neuropeptide Y (NPY)- and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-co-producing (NPY/AgRP) neurons and feeding, whereas ROS-activates POMC neurons and reduces feeding. The levels of ROS in POMC neurons were positively correlated with those of leptin in lean and ob/ob mice, a relationship that was diminished in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. High-fat feeding resulted in proliferation of peroxisomes and elevated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) mRNA levels within the hypothalamus. The proliferation of peroxisomes in POMC neurons induced by the PPAR-γ agonist rosiglitazone decreased ROS levels and increased food intake in lean mice on high-fat diet. Conversely, the suppression of peroxisome proliferation by the PPAR antagonist GW9662 increased ROS concentrations and c-fos expression in POMC neurons. Also, it reversed high-fat feeding-triggered elevated NPY/AgRP and low POMC neuronal firing, and resulted in decreased feeding of DIO mice. Finally, central administration of ROS alone increased c-fos and phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (pStat3) expression in POMC neurons and reduced feeding of DIO mice. These observations unmask a previously unknown hypothalamic cellular process associated with peroxisomes and ROS in the central regulation of energy metabolism in states of leptin resistance.
Nature medicine 08/2011; 17(9):1121-7. DOI:10.1038/nm.2421 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is a long-standing view that the circadian clock functions to proactively align internal physiology with the 24-h rotation of the earth. Recent studies, including one by Schmutz and colleagues (pp. 345-357) in the February 15, 2010, issue of Genes & Development, delineate strikingly complex connections between molecular clocks and nuclear receptor signaling pathways, implying the existence of a large-scale circadian regulatory network coordinating a diverse array of physiological processes to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
Genes & development 04/2010; 24(8):741-7. DOI:10.1101/gad.1920710 · 10.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucose flux through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway leads to the post-translational modification of cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins by O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). This tandem system serves as a nutrient sensor to couple systemic metabolic status to cellular regulation of signal transduction, transcription, and protein degradation. Here we show that O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) harbours a previously unrecognized type of phosphoinositide-binding domain. After induction with insulin, phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate recruits OGT from the nucleus to the plasma membrane, where the enzyme catalyses dynamic modification of the insulin signalling pathway by O-GlcNAc. This results in the alteration in phosphorylation of key signalling molecules and the attenuation of insulin signal transduction. Hepatic overexpression of OGT impairs the expression of insulin-responsive genes and causes insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia. These findings identify a molecular mechanism by which nutritional cues regulate insulin signalling through O-GlcNAc, and underscore the contribution of this modification to the aetiology of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As sensors for fat-soluble hormones and dietary lipids, oscillations in nuclear receptor (NR) expression in key metabolic tissues may contribute to circadian entrainment of nutrient and energy metabolism. Surveying the diurnal expression profiles of all 49 mouse nuclear receptors in white and brown adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle revealed that of the 45 NRs expressed, 25 are in a rhythmic cycle and 3 exhibit a single transient pulse of expression 4 hr into the light cycle. While thyroid hormones are generally constant, we find that TRalpha and beta dramatically cycle, suggesting that fundamental concepts such as "basal metabolism" may require reexamination. The dynamic but coordinated changes in nuclear receptor expression, along with their key target genes, offers a logical explanation for known cyclic behavior of lipid and glucose metabolism and suggests novel roles for endocrine and orphan receptors in coupling the peripheral circadian clock to divergent metabolic outputs.