bims-mimbat Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in brown adipose tissue
Issue of 2022‒05‒15
eight papers selected by
José Carlos de Lima-Júnior
University of California San Francisco

  1. Sci Rep. 2022 May 09. 12(1): 7614
      Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a promising therapeutic target against obesity. Therefore, research on the genetic architecture of BAT could be key for the development of successful therapies against this complex phenotype. Hypothesis-driven candidate gene association studies are useful for studying genetic determinants of complex traits, but they are dependent upon the previous knowledge to select candidate genes. Here, we predicted 107 novel-BAT candidate genes in silico using the uncoupling protein one (UCP1) as the hallmark of BAT activity. We first identified the top 1% of human genes predicted by the human gene connectome to be biologically closest to the UCP1, estimating 167 additional pathway genes (BAT connectome). We validated this prediction by showing that 60 genes already associated with BAT were included in the connectome and they were biologically closer to each other than expected by chance (p < 2.2 × 10-16). The rest of genes (107) are potential candidates for BAT, being also closer to known BAT genes and more expressed in BAT biopsies than expected by chance (p < 2.2 × 10-16; p = 4.39 × 10-02). The resulting new list of predicted human BAT genes should be useful for the discovery of novel BAT genes and metabolic pathways.
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 05. pii: 5175. [Epub ahead of print]23(9):
      Beige adipocytes with thermogenic function are activated during cold exposure in white adipose tissue through the process of browning. These cells, similar to brown adipocytes, dissipate stored chemical energy in the form of heat with the help of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Recently, we have shown that tissue transglutaminase (TG2) knock-out mice have decreased cold tolerance in parallel with lower utilization of their epididymal adipose tissue and reduced browning. To learn more about the thermogenic function of this fat depot, we isolated preadipocytes from the epididymal adipose tissue of wild-type and TG2 knock-out mice and differentiated them in the beige direction. Although differentiation of TG2 knock-out preadipocytes is phenotypically similar to the wild-type cells, the mitochondria of the knock-out beige cells have multiple impairments including an altered electron transport system generating lower electrochemical potential difference, reduced oxygen consumption, lower UCP1 protein content, and a higher portion of fragmented mitochondria. Most of these differences are present in preadipocytes as well, and the differentiation process cannot overcome the functional disadvantages completely. TG2 knock-out beige adipocytes produce more iodothyronine deiodinase 3 (DIO3) which may inactivate thyroid hormones required for the establishment of optimal mitochondrial function. The TG2 knock-out preadipocytes and beige cells are both hypometabolic as compared with the wild-type controls which may also be explained by the lower expression of solute carrier proteins SLC25A45, SLC25A47, and SLC25A42 which transport acylcarnitine, Co-A, and amino acids into the mitochondrial matrix. As a consequence, the mitochondria in TG2 knock-out beige adipocytes probably cannot reach the energy-producing threshold required for normal thermogenic functions, which may contribute to the decreased cold tolerance of TG2 knock-out mice.
    Keywords:  DIO3; SLC25A45; beige adipocytes; browning; uncoupling protein-1
  3. Acta Pharm Sin B. 2022 Mar;12(3): 1186-1197
      The transcription factor nuclear factor of kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) is expressed in brown adipocytes, but its role remains largely unknown in the cells. This issue was addressed in current study by examining NF-κB in brown adipocytes in vitro and in vivo. NF-κB activity was increased by differentiation of brown adipocytes through elevation of p65 (RelA) expression. The transcriptional activity of NF-κB was induced by the cold stimulation with an elevation in S276 phosphorylation of p65 protein. Inactivation of NF-κB in brown adipocytes made the knockout mice [uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1)-CreER-p65f/f, U-p65-KO] intolerant to the cold environment. The brown adipocytes exhibited an increase in apoptosis, a decrease in cristae density and uncoupling activity in the interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT) of p65-KO mice. The alterations became severer after cold exposure of the KO mice. The brown adipocytes of mice with NF-κB activation (p65 overexpression, p65-OE) exhibited a set of opposite alterations with a reduction in apoptosis, an increase in cristae density and uncoupling activity. In mechanism, NF-κB inhibited expression of the adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2) in the control of apoptosis. Data suggest that NF-κB activity is increased in brown adipocytes by differentiation and cold stimulation to protect the cells from apoptosis through down-regulation of ANT2 expression.
    Keywords:  ANT2; Brown adipocyte; Energy metabolism; Mitochondria; RelA
  4. J Exp Biol. 2022 May 13. pii: jeb.244080. [Epub ahead of print]
      Highland native deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) have greater rates of lipid oxidation during maximal cold challenge in hypoxia (hypoxic cold-induced V˙O2max) compared to their lowland conspecifics. Lipid oxidation is also increased in deer mice acclimated to simulated high altitude (cold hypoxia), regardless of altitude ancestry. The underlying lipid metabolic pathway traits responsible for sustaining maximal thermogenic demand in deer mice is currently unknown. The objective of this study was to characterize key steps in the lipid oxidation pathway in highland and lowland deer mice acclimated to control (23oC, 21kPa O2) or cold hypoxic (5oC, 12kPa O2) conditions. We hypothesized that capacities for lipid delivery and tissue uptake will be greater in highlanders and further increase with cold hypoxia acclimation. With the transition from rest to hypoxic cold-induced V˙O2max, both highland and lowland deer mice showed increased plasma glycerol concentrations and fatty acid availability. Interestingly, cold hypoxia acclimation led to increased plasma triglyceride concentrations at cold-induced V˙O2max, but only in highlanders. Highlanders also had significantly greater delivery rates of circulatory free fatty acids and triglycerides due to higher plasma flow rates at cold-induced V˙O2max. We found no population or acclimation differences in fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36) abundance in the gastrocnemius or brown adipose tissue, suggesting fatty acid uptake across membranes is not limiting during thermogenesis. Our data indicate that circulatory lipid delivery plays a major role in supporting the high thermogenic rates observed in highland versus lowland deer mice.
    Keywords:  Cold; FABP; FAT/CD36; Hypoxia; Peromyscus maniculatus; Plasma flow
  5. Adipocyte. 2022 May 09.
      Neuroblastoma (NB) is an embryonic malignant tumor of the sympathetic nervous system, and current research shows that activation of brown adipose tissue accelerates cachexia in cancer patients. However, the interaction between brown adipose tissues and NB remains unclear. The study aimed to investigate the effect of brown adipocytes in the co-culture system on the proliferation and migration of NB cells. Brown adipocytes promoted the proliferation and migration of Neuro-2a, BE(2)-M17, and SH-SY5Y cells under the co-culture system, with an increase of the mRNA and protein levels of UCP2 and PPAR-γ in NB cells. The UCP2 inhibitor genipin or PPAR-γ inhibitor T0090709 inhibited the migration of NB cells induced by brown adipocytes. Genipin or siUCP2 upregulated the expression of E-cadherin, and downregulated the expression of N-cadherin and vimentin in NB cells. We suggest that under co-cultivation conditions, NB cells can activate brown adipocytes, which triggers changes in various genes and promotes the proliferation and migration of NB cells. The PPAR-γ/UCP2 pathway is involved in the migration of NB cells caused by brown adipocytes.
    Keywords:  Brown adipocytes; PPAR-γ; genipin; neuroblastoma; uncoupling protein
  6. Cells. 2022 May 03. pii: 1535. [Epub ahead of print]11(9):
      Apart from a well-known role in the innate immune system, lipocalin 2 (Lcn2) has been recently characterized as a critical regulator of thermogenesis and lipid metabolism. However, the physiological mechanism through which Lcn2 regulates cellular metabolism and thermogenesis in adipocytes remains unknown. We found that Lcn2 expression and secretion are significantly upregulated by arachidonic acid (AA) and mTORC1 inhibition in differentiated inguinal adipocytes. AA-induced Lcn2 expression and secretion correlate with the inflammatory NFkB activation. Lcn2 deficiency leads to the upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) expression, as well as increased biosynthesis and secretion of prostaglandins (PGs), particularly PGE2 and PGD2, induced by AA in adipocytes. Furthermore, Lcn2 deficiency affects the mTOR signaling regulation of thermogenic gene expression, lipogenesis, and lipolysis. The loss of Lcn2 dismisses the effect of mTORC1 inhibition by rapamycin on COX2, thermogenesis genes, lipogenesis, and lipolysis, but has no impact on p70 S6Kinase-ULK1 activation in Lcn2-deficient adipocytes. We conclude that Lcn2 converges the COX2-PGE2 and mTOR signaling pathways in the regulation of thermogenesis and lipid metabolism in adipocytes.
    Keywords:  adipocyte; lipocalin 2; mTOR signaling; prostaglandin
  7. J Lipid Res. 2022 May 05. pii: S0022-2275(22)00054-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100221
      Neuronal growth regulator 1 (NEGR1) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein associated with several human pathologies, including obesity, depression, and autism. Recently, significantly enlarged white adipose tissue (WAT), hepatic lipid accumulation, and decreased muscle capacity were reported in Negr1-deficient mice. However, the mechanism behind these phenotypes was not clear. In the present study, we found NEGR1 to interact with cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36), the major fatty acid translocase in the plasma membrane. Binding assays with a soluble form of NEGR1 and in-situ proximal ligation assays indicated that NEGR1-CD36 interaction occurs at the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. Furthermore, we show that NEGR1 overexpression induced CD36 protein destabilization in vitro. Both mRNA and protein levels of CD36 were significantly elevated in the WAT and liver tissues of Negr1-/- mice. Accordingly, fatty acid uptake rate increased in NEGR1-deficient primary adipocytes. Finally, we demonstrated that Negr1-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) showed elevated reactive oxygen species levels and decreased adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activation compared with control MEFs. Based on these results, we propose that NEGR1 regulates cellular fat content by controlling the expression of CD36.
    Keywords:  AMPK activation; CD36; ROS; adipose tissue; diabetes; fatty acid/transport; lipid rafts; obesity; protein-protein interaction; proximal ligation assay
  8. Sci Adv. 2022 May 13. 8(19): eabl8716
      Several subunits in the matrix domain of mitochondrial complex I (CI) have been posited to be redox sensors for CI, but how elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) impinge on CI assembly is unknown. We report that genetic disruption of the mitochondrial NADPH-generating enzyme, isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2), in Drosophila flight muscles results in elevated ROS levels and impairment of assembly of the oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS). Mechanistically, this begins with an inhibition of biosynthesis of the matrix domain of CI and progresses to involve multiple OXPHOS complexes. Despite activation of multiple compensatory mechanisms, including enhanced coenzyme Q biosynthesis and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, ferroptotic cell death ensues. Disruption of enzymes that eliminate hydrogen peroxide, but not those that eliminate the superoxide radical, recapitulates the phenotype, thereby implicating hydrogen peroxide as the signaling molecule involved. Thus, IDH2 modulates the assembly of the matrix domain of CI and ultimately that of the entire OXPHOS.