Cem Z Görgün

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (10)203.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The adipocyte/macrophage fatty acid-binding proteins aP2 (FABP4) and Mal1 (FABP5) are intracellular lipid chaperones that modulate systemic glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and atherosclerosis. Combined deficiency of aP2 and Mal1 has been shown to reduce the development of atherosclerosis, but the independent role of macrophage Mal1 expression in atherogenesis remains unclear. We transplanted wild-type (WT), Mal1(-/-), or aP2(-/-) bone marrow into low-density lipoprotein receptor-null (LDLR(-/-)) mice and fed them a Western diet for 8 weeks. Mal1(-/-)→LDLR(-/-) mice had significantly reduced (36%) atherosclerosis in the proximal aorta compared with control WT→LDLR(-/-) mice. Interestingly, peritoneal macrophages isolated from Mal1-deficient mice displayed increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) activity and upregulation of a PPARγ-related cholesterol trafficking gene, CD36. Mal1(-/-) macrophages showed suppression of inflammatory genes, such as COX2 and interleukin 6. Mal1(-/-)→LDLR(-/-) mice had significantly decreased macrophage numbers in the aortic atherosclerotic lesions compared with WT→LDLR(-/-) mice, suggesting that monocyte recruitment may be impaired. Indeed, blood monocytes isolated from Mal1(-/-)→LDLR(-/-) mice on a high-fat diet had decreased CC chemokine receptor 2 gene and protein expression levels compared with WT monocytes. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Mal1 plays a proatherogenic role by suppressing PPARγ activity, which increases expression of CC chemokine receptor 2 by monocytes, promoting their recruitment to atherosclerotic lesions.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue inflammation is a characteristic of obesity. However, the mechanisms that regulate this inflammatory response and link adipose inflammation to systemic metabolic consequences are not fully understood. In this study, we have taken advantage of the highly restricted coexpression of adipocyte/macrophage fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) aP2 (FABP4) and mal1 (FABP5) to examine the contribution of these lipid chaperones in macrophages and adipocytes to local and systemic inflammation and metabolic homeostasis in mice. Deletion of FABPs in adipocytes resulted in reduced expression of inflammatory cytokines in macrophages, whereas the same deletion in macrophages led to enhanced insulin signaling and glucose uptake in adipocytes. Using radiation chimerism through bone marrow transplantation, we generated mice with FABP deficiency in bone marrow and stroma-derived elements in vivo and studied the impact of each cellular target on local and systemic insulin action and glucose metabolism in dietary obesity. The results of these experiments indicated that neither macrophages nor adipocytes individually could account for the total impact of FABPs on systemic metabolism and suggest that interactions between these 2 cell types, particularly in adipose tissue, are critical for the inflammatory basis of metabolic deterioration.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Adipocyte fatty-acid-binding protein, aP2 (FABP4) is expressed in adipocytes and macrophages, and integrates inflammatory and metabolic responses. Studies in aP2-deficient mice have shown that this lipid chaperone has a significant role in several aspects of metabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Here we demonstrate that an orally active small-molecule inhibitor of aP2 is an effective therapeutic agent against severe atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes in mouse models. In macrophage and adipocyte cell lines with or without aP2, we also show the target specificity of this chemical intervention and its mechanisms of action on metabolic and inflammatory pathways. Our findings demonstrate that targeting aP2 with small-molecule inhibitors is possible and can lead to a new class of powerful therapeutic agents to prevent and treat metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2007 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) are implicated in the development of insulin resistance, but the mechanisms mediating these chronic effects are not completely understood. We demonstrate that TNFalpha signaling through TNF receptor (TNFR) 1 suppresses AMPK activity via transcriptional upregulation of protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C). This in turn reduces ACC phosphorylation, suppressing fatty-acid oxidation, increasing intramuscular diacylglycerol accumulation, and causing insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, effects observed both in vitro and in vivo. Importantly even at pathologically elevated levels of TNFalpha observed in obesity, the suppressive effects of TNFalpha on AMPK signaling are reversed in mice null for both TNFR1 and 2 or following treatment with a TNFalpha neutralizing antibody. Our data demonstrate that AMPK is an important TNFalpha signaling target and is a contributing factor to the suppression of fatty-acid oxidation and the development of lipid-induced insulin resistance in obesity.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Cell Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a key link between obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Here, we provide evidence that this mechanistic link can be exploited for therapeutic purposes with orally active chemical chaperones. 4-Phenyl butyric acid and taurine-conjugated ursodeoxycholic acid alleviated ER stress in cells and whole animals. Treatment of obese and diabetic mice with these compounds resulted in normalization of hyperglycemia, restoration of systemic insulin sensitivity, resolution of fatty liver disease, and enhancement of insulin action in liver, muscle, and adipose tissues. Our results demonstrate that chemical chaperones enhance the adaptive capacity of the ER and act as potent antidiabetic modalities with potential application in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2006 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Using cell culture and mouse models, we show that obesity causes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. This stress in turn leads to suppression of insulin receptor signaling through hyperactivation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and subsequent serine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate–1 (IRS-1). Mice deficient in X-box–binding protein–1 (XBP-1), a transcription factor that modulates the ER stress response, develop insulin resistance. These findings demonstrate that ER stress is a central feature of peripheral insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. Pharmacologic manipulation of this pathway may offer novel opportunities for treating these common diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2004 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic and inflammatory abnormalities including obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerosis. The fatty acid binding proteins aP2 (fatty acid binding protein [FABP]-4) and mal1 (FABP5) are closely related and both are expressed in adipocytes. Previous studies in aP2-deficient mice have indicated a significant role for aP2 in obesity-related insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis. However, the biological functions of mal1 are not known. Here, we report the generation of mice with targeted null mutations in the mal1 gene as well as transgenic mice overexpressing mal1 from the aP2 promoter/enhancer to address the role of this FABP in metabolic regulation in the presence or absence of obesity. To address the role of the second adipocyte FABP in metabolic regulation in the presence and deficiency of obesity, absence of mal1 resulted in increased systemic insulin sensitivity in two models of obesity and insulin resistance. Adipocytes isolated from mal1-deficient mice also exhibited enhanced insulin-stimulated glucose transport capacity. In contrast, mice expressing high levels of mal1 in adipose tissue display reduced systemic insulin sensitivity. Hence, our results demonstrate that mal1 modulates adipose tissue function and contributes to systemic glucose metabolism and constitutes a potential therapeutic target in insulin resistance.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2003 · Diabetes
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is closely associated with insulin resistance and establishes the leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus, yet the molecular mechanisms of this association are poorly understood. The c-Jun amino-terminal kinases (JNKs) can interfere with insulin action in cultured cells and are activated by inflammatory cytokines and free fatty acids, molecules that have been implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes. Here we show that JNK activity is abnormally elevated in obesity. Furthermore, an absence of JNK1 results in decreased adiposity, significantly improved insulin sensitivity and enhanced insulin receptor signalling capacity in two different models of mouse obesity. Thus, JNK is a crucial mediator of obesity and insulin resistance and a potential target for therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2002 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Increase in adipose mass results in obesity and modulation of several factors in white adipose tissue (WAT). Two important examples are tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and leptin, both of which are upregulated in adipose tissue in obesity. In order to isolate genes differentially expressed in the WAT of genetically obese db/db mice compared to their lean littermates, we performed RNA fingerprinting and identified haptoglobin (Hp), which is significantly upregulated in the obese animals. Hp is a glycoprotein induced by a number of cytokines, LPS (Lipopolysaccharide), and more generally by inflammation. A significant upregulation of WAT Hp expression was also evident in several experimental obese models including the yellow agouti (/) A(y), ob/ob and goldthioglucose-treated mice (10-, 8-, and 7-fold, respectively). To identify the potential signals for an increase in Hp expression in obesity, we examined leptin and TNFalpha in vivo. Wild type animals treated with recombinant leptin did not show any alteration in WAT Hp expression compared to controls that were food restricted to the level of intake of the treated animals. On the other hand, Hp expression was induced in mice transgenically expressing TNFalpha in adipose tissue. Finally, a significant downregulation of WAT Hp mRNA was observed in ob/ob mice deficient in TNFalpha function, when compared to the ob/ob controls. These results demonstrate that haptoglobin expression in WAT is increased in obesity in rodents and TNFalpha is an important signal for this regulation.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2002 · Journal of Cellular Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of the hormone resistin, which is secreted by fat cells, are proposed to cause insulin resistance and to serve as a link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. In this report we show that resistin expression is significantly decreased in the white adipose tissue of several different models of obesity including the ob/ob, db/db, tub/tub, and KKAy mice compared with their lean counterparts. Furthermore, in response to several different classes of antidiabetic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonists, adipose tissue resistin expression is increased in both ob/ob mice and Zucker diabetic fatty rats. These data demonstrate that experimental obesity in rodents is associated with severely defective resistin expression, and decreases in resistin expression are not required for the antidiabetic actions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonists.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2001 · Journal of Biological Chemistry

Publication Stats

6k Citations
203.42 Total Impact Points


  • 2001-2011
    • Harvard University
      • • Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases
      • • Department of Nutrition
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002-2004
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Systems Biology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Cologne
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany