bims-mimbat Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in brown adipose tissue
Issue of 2022‒10‒09
fourteen papers selected by
José Carlos de Lima-Júnior
University of California San Francisco

  1. Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Oct 04. 14(undefined):
      Brown adipose tissue (BAT) contributes to cardiometabolic health by taking up glucose and lipids for oxidation, a process that displays a strong diurnal rhythm. While aging has been shown to reduce thermogenic characteristics of BAT, it is as yet unknown whether this reduction is specific to the time of day. Therefore, we assessed whole-body and BAT energy metabolism in young and middle-aged male and female C57BL/6J mice and studied the consequences for lipid metabolism in humanized APOE*3-Leiden.CETP mice (also on a C57BL/6J background). We demonstrate that in middle-aged versus young mice body temperature is lower in both male and female mice, while uptake of triglyceride (TG)-derived fatty acids (FAs) by BAT, reflecting metabolic activity, is attenuated at its peak at the onset of the dark (wakeful) phase in female mice. This coincided with delayed plasma clearance of TG-rich lipoproteins and TG-depleted lipoprotein core remnants, and elevated plasma TGs at the same time point. Furthermore, middle-aged female mice showed increased adiposity, accompanied by lipid accumulation, increased expression of genes involved in lipogenesis, and reduced expression of genes involved in fat oxidation and the intracellular clock machinery in BAT. Peak abundance of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), a crucial regulator of FA uptake, was attenuated in BAT. Our findings suggest that LPL is a potential therapeutic target for restoring diurnal metabolic BAT activity, and that efficiency of strategies targeting BAT may be improved by including time of day as an important factor.
    Keywords:  APOE*3-Leiden.CETP mice; aging; brown adipose tissue; diurnal rhythm; lipoprotein metabolism
  2. J Therm Biol. 2022 Oct;pii: S0306-4565(22)00120-6. [Epub ahead of print]109 103306
      Brown adipose tissue is a thermogenic organ, which consumes chemical energy as heat to protect animals from low temperature and metabolic diseases. However, the role and mechanism of the new factor that up-regulates the heat-generating capacity of brown adipose tissue is still unclear. Here, we found that hepatitis C virus core binding protein 6 (HCBP6), as a key regulator gene in the homeostasis of liver lipid metabolism, is an important enhancer for activating brown fat to ensure thermogenesis. HCBP6 upregulates the expression of UCP1 and increases the number of mitochondria in brown adipocytes. In the BAT of HCBP6-knockout mice induced by a high-fat diet, UCP1 and BAT activity-related genes Pgc1α, Cidea and oxidation phosphorylation-related genes (OXPHOS) were significantly reduced. In addition, the transcriptomics results show that the loss of HCBP6 caused disorder of the metabolic pathway, the expression of brown adipocyte development genes was significantly reduced, and the expression of most BAT cytokine genes was reduced. In conclusion, HCBP6 increased ucp1-dependent thermogenesis in BAT and improved liver lipid metabolism, possibly by enhancing the activity of brown fat and changing the expression of BAT cytokine genes.
    Keywords:  Brown adipose tissue; Cytokine; HCBP6; UCP1
  3. J Neurosci. 2022 Aug 26. pii: JN-RM-2509-21. [Epub ahead of print]
      A strong bidirectional link between metabolic and psychiatric disorders exists; yet the molecular basis underlying this interaction remains unresolved. Here we explored the role of the brown fat issue (BAT) as modulatory interface, focusing on the involvement of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP-1), a key metabolic regulator highly expressed in BAT, in the control of emotional behavior.Male and female constitutive UCP-1 knockout (KO) mice were used to investigate the consequences of UCP-1 deficiency on anxiety-related and depression-related behaviors under mild thermogenic (23°C) and thermoneutral (29°C) conditions.UCP-1 KO mice displayed a selective enhancement of anxiety-related behavior exclusively under thermogenic conditions, but not at thermoneutrality. Neural and endocrine stress mediators were not affected in UCP-1 KO mice, which showed an activation of the integrated stress response alongside enhanced Fibroblast-growth factor-21 (FGF-21) levels. However, viral-mediated overexpression of FGF-21 did not phenocopy the behavioral alterations of UCP-1 KO mice and blocking FGF-21 activity did not rescue the anxiogenic phenotype of UCP-1 KO mice. No effects of surgical removal of the intrascapular BAT on anxiety-like behavior or FGF-21 levels were observed in either UCP-1 KO or WT mice.We provide evidence for a novel role of UCP-1 in the regulation of emotions that manifests as inhibitory constraint on anxiety-related behavior, exclusively under thermogenic conditions. We propose this function of UCP-1 to be independent of its activity in the BAT and likely mediated through a central role of UCP-1 in brain regions with converging involvement in energy and emotional control.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTIn this first description of a temperature-dependent phenotype of emotional behavior, we propose uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1), the key component of the thermogenic function of the brown adipose tissue, as molecular break controlling anxiety-related behavior in mice. We suggest the involvement of UCP-1 in fear regulation to be mediated through its expression in brain regions with converging roles in energy and emotional control.These data are important and relevant in light of the largely unexplored bidirectional link between metabolic and psychiatric disorders, which has the potential for providing insight into novel therapeutic strategies for the management of both conditions.
  4. J Therm Biol. 2022 Oct;pii: S0306-4565(22)00147-4. [Epub ahead of print]109 103333
      Mongolian sheep are characteristically cold-tolerant and thus can survive well and maintain genetic stability in the extremely cold environment of the Mongolian Plateau. However, the adaptive mechanism of Mongolian sheep during the cold season in the plateau environment remains unknown. Browning of white adipose tissues (WAT) can trigger nonshivering thermogenesis as a potential strategy to promote an animal's tolerance to cold environments. Thus, a comparative analysis of the genes and proteins of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent and UCP1-independent browning pathways, mitochondrial biogenesis, lipogenic and lipolytic processes of WAT from grazing Mongolian sheep in the cold and warm seasons was conducted. We found seasonal browning of both retroperitoneal WAT and perirenal WAT, and the signalling of the process was mainly transduced by the UCP1- dependent pathway, primarily reflected in the upregulated gene levels of UCP1 and peroxisome proliferative activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α). In addition, the mean adipocyte diameter and mRNA expression of lipogenic genes in both interscapular WAT and subcutaneous WAT were significantly elevated during the cold season. The findings of this study demonstrate that grazing Mongolian sheep could depend on seasonal browning of both retroperitoneal WAT and perirenal WAT together with the expansion of both interscapular WAT and subcutaneous WAT to acclimate to cold environments of the Mongolian Plateau.
    Keywords:  Browning; Cold tolerant; Mongolian sheep (Ovis aries); Seasonal acclimation; Uncoupling protein 1; White adipose tissue
  5. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00399-0. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1428-1430
      Activated brown adipose tissue (BAT) consumes copious amounts of circulating nutrients to fuel thermogenesis. Recently writing in Nature, Seki et al. show that this property can be leveraged to limit glucose availability for cancer cells and slow tumor growth, thereby adding cancer to the growing list of diseases that can potentially be treated by activating BAT.
  6. Mol Cell. 2022 Oct 06. pii: S1097-2765(22)00895-4. [Epub ahead of print]82(19): 3661-3676.e8
      Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, mediated by the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter, regulates oxidative phosphorylation, apoptosis, and intracellular Ca2+ signaling. Previous studies suggest that non-neuronal uniporters are exclusively regulated by a MICU1-MICU2 heterodimer. Here, we show that skeletal-muscle and kidney uniporters also complex with a MICU1-MICU1 homodimer and that human/mouse cardiac uniporters are largely devoid of MICUs. Cells employ protein-importation machineries to fine-tune the relative abundance of MICU1 homo- and heterodimers and utilize a conserved MICU intersubunit disulfide to protect properly assembled dimers from proteolysis by YME1L1. Using the MICU1 homodimer or removing MICU1 allows mitochondria to more readily take up Ca2+ so that cells can produce more ATP in response to intracellular Ca2+ transients. However, the trade-off is elevated ROS, impaired basal metabolism, and higher susceptibility to death. These results provide mechanistic insights into how tissues can manipulate mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake properties to support their unique physiological functions.
    Keywords:  calcium channels; cardiac pathophysiology; cellular metabolism; intracellular calcium signaling; membrane-transport mechanisms; mitochondrial physiology; mitochondrial proteases; organellar channels; protein complexes
  7. Annu Rev Entomol. 2022 Oct 07.
      Winter provides many challenges for insects, including direct injury to tissues and energy drain due to low food availability. As a result, the geographic distribution of many species is tightly coupled to their ability to survive winter. In this review, we summarize molecular processes associated with winter survival, with a particular focus on coping with cold injury and energetic challenges. Anticipatory processes such as cold acclimation and diapause cause wholesale transcriptional reorganization that increases cold resistance and promotes cryoprotectant production and energy storage. Molecular responses to low temperature are also dynamic and include signaling events during and after a cold stressor to prevent and repair cold injury. In addition, we highlight mechanisms that are subject to selection as insects evolve to variable winter conditions. Based on current knowledge, despite common threads, molecular mechanisms of winter survival vary considerably across species, and taxonomic biases must be addressed to fully appreciate the mechanistic basis of winter survival across the insect phylogeny. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 68 is January 2023. Please see for revised estimates.
  8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Oct 11. 119(41): e2205874119
      ATB[Formula: see text] (SLC6A14) is a member of the amino acid transporter branch of the SLC6 family along with GlyT1 (SLC6A9) and GlyT2 (SLC6A5), two glycine-specific transporters coupled to 2:1 and 3:1 Na[Formula: see text]:Cl[Formula: see text], respectively. In contrast, ATB[Formula: see text] exhibits broad substrate specificity for all neutral and cationic amino acids, and its ionic coupling remains unsettled. Using the reversal potential slope method, we demonstrate a 3:1:1 Na[Formula: see text]:Cl[Formula: see text]:Gly stoichiometry for ATB[Formula: see text] that is consistent with its 2.1 e/Gly charge coupling. Like GlyT2, ATB[Formula: see text] behaves as a unidirectional transporter with virtually no glycine efflux at negative potentials after uptake, except by heteroexchange as remarkably shown by leucine activation of NMDARs in Xenopus oocytes coexpressing both membrane proteins. Analysis and computational modeling of the charge movement of ATB[Formula: see text] reveal a higher affinity for sodium in the absence of substrate than GlyT2 and a gating mechanism that locks Na[Formula: see text] into the apo-transporter at depolarized potentials. A 3:1 Na[Formula: see text]:Cl[Formula: see text] stoichiometry justifies the concentrative transport properties of ATB[Formula: see text] and explains its trophic role in tumor growth, while rationalizing its phylogenetic proximity to GlyT2 despite their extreme divergence in specificity.
    Keywords:  NMDAR; electrophysiology; glycine transporters; ion-coupled transporter; thermodynamic
  9. Elife. 2022 Oct 06. pii: e80282. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Diet-induced obesity leads to dysfunctional feeding behavior. However, the precise molecular nodes underlying diet-induced feeding motivation dysregulation are poorly understood. The fruit fly is a simple genetic model system yet displays significant evolutionary conservation to mammalian nutrient sensing and energy balance. Using a longitudinal high sugar regime in Drosophila, we sought to address how diet-induced changes in adipocyte lipid composition regulate feeding behavior. We observed that subjecting adult Drosophila to a prolonged high-sugar diet degrades the hunger-driven feeding response. Lipidomics analysis reveals that longitudinal exposure to high-sugar diets significantly alters whole-body phospholipid profiles. By performing a systematic genetic screen for phospholipid enzymes in adult fly adipocytes, we identify Pect as a critical regulator of hunger-driven feeding. Pect is a rate-limiting enzyme in the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) biosynthesis pathway and the fly ortholog of human PCYT2. We show that disrupting Pect activity only in the Drosophila fat cells causes insulin resistance, dysregulated lipoprotein delivery to the brain, and a loss of hunger-driven feeding. Previously human studies have noted a correlation between PCYT2/Pect levels and clinical obesity. Now, our unbiased studies in Drosophila provide causative evidence for adipocyte Pect function in metabolic homeostasis. Altogether, we have uncovered that PE phospholipid homeostasis regulates hunger response.
    Keywords:  D. melanogaster; genetics; genomics
  10. Science. 2022 Oct 07. 378(6615): 43-49
      The dormant state of bacterial spores is generally thought to be devoid of biological activity. We show that despite continued dormancy, spores can integrate environmental signals over time through a preexisting electrochemical potential. Specifically, we studied thousands of individual Bacillus subtilis spores that remain dormant when exposed to transient nutrient pulses. Guided by a mathematical model of bacterial electrophysiology, we modulated the decision to exit dormancy by genetically and chemically targeting potassium ion flux. We confirmed that short nutrient pulses result in step-like changes in the electrochemical potential of persistent spores. During dormancy, spores thus gradually release their stored electrochemical potential to integrate extracellular information over time. These findings reveal a decision-making mechanism that operates in physiologically inactive cells.
  11. FASEB J. 2022 Nov;36(11): e22534
      The solute carrier 26 family member A9 (SLC26A9) is an epithelial anion transporter that is assumed to contribute to airway chloride secretion and surface hydration. Whether SLC26A9 or CFTR is responsible for airway Cl- transport under basal conditions is still unclear, due to the lack of a specific inhibitor for SLC26A9. In the present study, we report a novel potent and specific inhibitor for SLC26A9, identified by screening of a drug-like molecule library and subsequent chemical modifications. The most potent compound S9-A13 inhibited SLC26A9 with an IC50 of 90.9 ± 13.4 nM. S9-A13 did not inhibit other members of the SLC26 family and had no effects on Cl- channels such as CFTR, TMEM16A, or VRAC. S9-A13 inhibited SLC26A9 Cl- currents in cells that lack expression of CFTR. It also inhibited proton secretion by HGT-1 human gastric cells. In contrast, S9-A13 had minimal effects on ion transport in human airway epithelia and mouse trachea, despite clear expression of SLC26A9 in the apical membrane of ciliated cells. In both tissues, basal and stimulated Cl- secretion was due to CFTR, while acidification of airway surface liquid by S9-A13 suggests a role of SLC26A9 for airway bicarbonate secretion.
    Keywords:  Cl− secretion; S9-A13; SLC26A9; airways; asthma; cystic fibrosis; pH regulation
  12. J Cell Biol. 2022 12 05. pii: e202111137. [Epub ahead of print]221(12):
      Adipocytes are the main cell type in adipose tissue, which is a critical regulator of metabolism, highly specialized in storing energy as fat. Adipocytes differentiate from multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) through adipogenesis, a tightly controlled differentiation process involving close interplay between metabolic transitions and sequential programs of gene expression. However, the specific gears driving this interplay remain largely obscure. Additionally, the metabolite nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is becoming increasingly recognized as a regulator of lipid metabolism, and a promising therapeutic target for dyslipidemia and obesity. Here, we explored how NAD+ bioavailability controls adipogenic differentiation from hMSC. We found a previously unappreciated repressive role for NAD+ on adipocyte commitment, while a functional NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 appeared crucial for terminal differentiation of pre-adipocytes. Repressing NAD+ biosynthesis during adipogenesis promoted the adipogenic transcriptional program, while two-photon microscopy and extracellular flux analyses suggest that SIRT1 activity mostly relies on the metabolic switch. Interestingly, SIRT1 controls subcellular compartmentalization of redox metabolism during adipogenesis.
  13. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(10): e0275263
      Quantitative PCR (qPCR) is a common molecular tool to analyse the expression of transcripts in non-traditional animal models. Most animals experience tissue-specific seasonal changes in cell structure, growth, and cellular function. As a consequence, the choice of reference or 'house-keeping' genes is essential to standardize expression levels of target transcripts of interest for qPCR analyses. This study aimed to determine the abundance, efficiency and stability of several reference genes commonly used for normalisation of qPCR analyses in a model of seasonal biology: the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). Liver, brown-adipose tissue (BAT), white adipose tissue (WAT), testes, spleen, kidney, the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus, and the pituitary gland from either long or short photoperiod Siberian hamsters were dissected to test tissue-specific and photoperiod effects on reference transcripts. qPCR was conducted for common reference genes including 18s ribosomal RNA (18s), glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Gapdh), hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (Hprt), and actin-β (Act). Cycling time (Ct), efficiency (E) and replicate variation of Ct and E measured by percent coefficient of variance (CV%) was determined using PCR miner. Measures of stability were assessed using a combined approach of NormFinder and BestKeeper. 18s and Act did not vary in Ct across photoperiod conditions. Splenic, WAT and BAT Gapdh Ct was higher in long compared to short photoperiod. Splenic Hprt Ct was higher in long photoperiods. There was no significant effect of photoperiod, tissue or interaction on measures of efficiency, Ct CV%, or efficiency CV%. NormFinder and BestKeeper confirmed that 18s, Gapdh and Hprt were highly stable, while Act showed low stability. These findings suggest that 18s and Hprt show the most reliable stability, efficiency, and abundance across the tissues. Overall, the study provides a comprehensive and standardised approach to assess multiple reference genes in the Siberian hamster and help to inform molecular assays used in studies of photoperiodism.
  14. Biophys J. 2022 Oct 03. pii: S0006-3495(22)00820-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Intracellular transport of fatty acids involves binding of ligands to their carrier fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) and interactions of ligand-free and -bound FABPs with membranes. Previous studies focused on ligand-free FABPs. Here, our amide hydrogen exchange data showed that oleic acid binding to human intestinal FABP (hIFABP) stabilizes the protein most likely through enhancing hydrogen bonding network and induces rearrangement of sidechains even far away from the ligand binding site. Using NMR relaxation techniques, we found that the ligand binding affects not only conformational exchanges between major and minor states but also the affinity of hIFABP to nanodiscs. Analyses of the relaxation and amide exchange data suggested that two minor native-like states existing in both ligand-free and -bound hIFABPs originate from global "breathing" motions while one minor native-like state comes from local motions. The amide hydrogen exchange data also indicated that helix αII undergoes local unfolding through which ligands can exit from the binding cavity.