Fibrinolysis is initiated by tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) and inhibited by plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1). In obese humans, plasma PAI-1 and tPA proteins are increased, but PAI-1 dominates, leading to reduced fibrinolysis and thrombosis. To understand tPA–PAI-1 regulation in obesity, we focused on hepatocytes, a functionally important source of tPA and PAI-1 that sense obesity-induced metabolic stress. We showed that obese mice, like humans, had reduced fibrinolysis and increased plasma PAI-1 and tPA, due largely to their increased hepatocyte expression. A decrease in the PAI-1 (SERPINE1) gene corepressor Rev-Erbα increased PAI-1, which then increased the tPA gene PLAT via a PAI-1/LRP1/PKA/p-CREB1 pathway. This pathway was partially counterbalanced by increased DACH1, a PLAT-negative regulator. We focused on the PAI-1/PLAT pathway, which mitigates the reduction in fibrinolysis in obesity. Thus, silencing hepatocyte PAI-1, CREB1, or tPA in obese mice lowered plasma tPA and further impaired fibrinolysis. The PAI-1/PLAT pathway was present in primary human hepatocytes, and associations among PAI-1, tPA, and PLAT in livers from obese and lean humans were consistent with these findings. Knowledge of PAI-1 and tPA regulation in hepatocytes in obesity may suggest therapeutic strategies for improving fibrinolysis and lowering the risk of thrombosis in this setting.
Ze Zheng, Keiko Nakamura, Shana Gershbaum, Xiaobo Wang, Sherry Thomas, Marc Bessler, Beth Schrope, Abraham Krikhely, Rui-Ming Liu, Lale Ozcan, José A. López, Ira Tabas
Skeletal muscle depends on the precise orchestration of contractile and metabolic gene expression programs to direct fiber type specification and to ensure muscle performance. Exactly how such fiber type-specific patterns of gene expression are established and maintained remains unclear, however. Here, we demonstrate that histone mono-methyltransferase MLL4 (KMT2D), an enhancer regulator enriched in slow myofibers, plays a critical role in controlling muscle fiber identity as well as muscle performance. Skeletal muscle-specific ablation of MLL4 in mice resulted in downregulation of the slow-oxidative myofiber gene program, decreased number of type I myofibers, and diminished mitochondrial respiration, which caused reductions in muscle fat utilization and endurance capacity during exercise. Genome-wide ChIP-seq and mRNA-seq analyses revealed that MLL4 directly binds to enhancers and functions as a coactivator of the myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) to activate transcription of slow-oxidative myofiber genes. Importantly, we also found that the MLL4 regulatory circuit is associated with muscle fiber type remodeling in humans. Thus, our results uncover a pivotal role for MLL4 in specifying structural and metabolic identities of myofibers that govern muscle performance. These findings provide new therapeutic opportunities for enhancing muscle fitness to combat a variety of metabolic and muscular diseases.
Lin Liu, Chenyun Ding, Tingting Fu, Zhenhua Feng, Ji-Eun Lee, Liwei Xiao, Zhisheng Xu, Yujing Yin, Qiqi Guo, Zongchao Sun, Wanping Sun, Yan Mao, Likun Yang, Zheng Zhou, Danxia Zhou, Leilei Xu, Zezhang Zhu, Yong Qiu, Kai Ge, Zhenji Gan
Cachexia, a devastating wasting syndrome characterized by severe weight loss with specific losses of muscle and adipose tissue, is driven by reduced food intake, increased energy expenditure, excess catabolism, and inflammation. Cachexia is associated with poor prognosis and high mortality, and frequently occurs in patients with cancer, chronic kidney disease, infection, and many other illnesses. There is no effective treatment for this condition. Hypothalamic melanocortins have a potent and long-lasting inhibitory effect on feeding and anabolism, and pathophysiological processes increase melanocortin signaling tone leading to anorexia, metabolic changes, and eventual cachexia. We utilized three rat models of anorexia and cachexia (LPS, methylcholanthrene sarcoma, and 5/6 subtotal nephrectomy) to evaluate efficacy of TCMCB07, a synthetic antagonist of the melanocortin-4 receptor. Our data show that peripheral treatment of TCMCB07 with intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and oral administration increased food intake and body weight, and preserved fat mass and lean mass during cachexia and LPS-induced anorexia. Furthermore, administration of TCMCB07 diminished hypothalamic inflammatory gene expression in cancer cachexia. These results suggest that peripheral TCMCB07 treatment effectively inhibits central melanocortin signaling and therefore stimulates appetite and enhances anabolism, indicating that TCMCB07 is a promising drug candidate to treat cachexia.
Xinxia Zhu, Michael F. Callahan, Kenneth A. Gruber, Marek Szumowski, Daniel L. Marks
The brain has evolved in an environment where food sources are scarce and foraging for food is one of the major challenges for survival of the individual and species. Basic and clinical studies show that obesity/overnutrition leads to overwhelming changes in the brain in animals and humans. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the consequences of excessive energy intake are not well understood. Neurons expressing the neuropeptide hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt) in the lateral/perifonical hypothalamus (LH) are critical for homeostatic regulation, reward seeking, stress response, and cognitive functions. In this study, we examined adaptations in Hcrt cells regulating behavioral responses to salient stimuli in diet-induced obese mice. Our results demonstrated changes in primary cilia, synaptic transmission and plasticity, cellular responses to neurotransmitters necessary for reward seeking and stress responses in Hcrt neurons from obese mice. Activities of neuronal networks in the LH and hippocampus were impaired as a result of decreased hypocretinergic function. The weakened Hcrt system decreased reward seeking while altering responses to acute stress (stress coping strategy), which were reversed by selectively activating Hcrt cells with chemogenetics. Taken together, our data suggest that a deficiency in the Hcrt signaling may be a common cause of behavioral changes (such as lowered arousal, weakened reward seek and altered stress response) in obese animals.
Ying Tan, Fu Hang, Zhong-Wu Liu, Milan Stoiljkovic, Mingxing Wu, Yue Tu, Wenfei Han, Angela M. Lee, Craig Kelley, Mihaly Hajos, Lingeng Lu, Luis de Lecea, Ivan de Araujo, Marina Picciotto, Tamas L. Horvath, Xiao-Bing Gao
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has become an expanding global public health problem. Although the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is an important regulator of glucose metabolism, the relationship between circulating glucocorticoids (GCs) and the features of T2DM remains controversial. Here, we show that 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), an intermediate steroid in the biosynthetic pathway that converts cholesterol to cortisol, binds to and stimulates the transcriptional activity of GR. Hepatic 17-OHP concentrations are increased in diabetic mice and patients due to aberrantly increased expression of Cyp17A1. Systemic administration of 17-OHP or overexpression of Cyp17A1 in the livers of lean mice promoted the pathogenesis of hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, whereas knockdown of Cyp17A1 abrogated metabolic disorders in obese mice. Therefore, our results identify a Cyp17A1/17-OHP/GR–dependent pathway in the liver that mediates obesity-induced hyperglycemia, suggesting that selectively targeting hepatic Cyp17A1 may provide a therapeutic avenue for treating T2DM.
Yan Lu, E Wang, Ying Chen, Bing Zhou, Jiejie Zhao, Liping Xiang, Yiling Qian, Jingjing Jiang, Lin Zhao, Xuelian Xiong, Zhiqiang Lu, Duojiao Wu, Bin Liu, Jing Yan, Rong Zhang, Huijie Zhang, Cheng Hu, Xiaoying Li
Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first rate-limiting enzyme of serine synthesis, is frequently overexpressed in human cancer. PHGDH overexpression activates serine synthesis to promote cancer progression. Currently, PHGDH regulation in normal cells and cancer is not well understood. Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in Parkinson’s disease, is a tumor suppressor. Parkin expression is frequently downregulated in many types of cancer, and its tumor-suppressive mechanism is poorly defined. Here, we show that PHGDH is a substrate for Parkin-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. Parkin interacted with PHGDH and ubiquitinated PHGDH at lysine 330, leading to PHGDH degradation to suppress serine synthesis. Parkin deficiency in cancer cells stabilized PHGDH and activated serine synthesis to promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis, which was largely abolished by targeting PHGDH with RNA interference, CRISPR/Cas9 KO, or small-molecule PHGDH inhibitors. Furthermore, Parkin expression was inversely correlated with PHGDH expression in human breast cancer and lung cancer. Our results revealed PHGDH ubiquitination by Parkin as a crucial mechanism for PHGDH regulation that contributes to the tumor-suppressive function of Parkin and identified Parkin downregulation as a critical mechanism underlying PHGDH overexpression in cancer.
Juan Liu, Cen Zhang, Hao Wu, Xiao-Xin Sun, Yanchen Li, Shan Huang, Xuetian Yue, Shou-En Lu, Zhiyuan Shen, Xiaoyang Su, Eileen White, Bruce G. Haffty, Wenwei Hu, Zhaohui Feng
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major health issue as obesity increases around the world. We studied the effect of a circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (CLOCK) mutant (ClkΔ19/Δ19) protein on hepatic lipid metabolism in C57Bl6 Clkwt/wt and apolipoprotein E–deficient (Apoe−/−) mice. Both ClkΔ19/Δ19 and ClkΔ19/Δ19Apoe−/− mice developed a full spectrum of liver diseases (steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma) recognized in human NAFLD when challenged with a Western diet, lipopolysaccharide, or CoCl2. We identified induction of cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) proteins as contributing factors for NAFLD. Mechanistic studies showed that wild-type CLOCK protein interacted with the E-box enhancer elements in the promoters of the proline hydroxylase domain (PHD) proteins to increase expression. In ClkΔ19/Δ19 mice, PHD levels were low, and HIF1α protein levels were increased. When its levels were high, HIF1α interacted with the Cd36 promoter to augment expression and enhance fatty acid uptake. Thus, these studies establish a novel regulatory link among circadian rhythms, hypoxia response, fatty acid uptake, and NAFLD. The mouse models described here may be useful for further mechanistic studies in the progression of liver diseases and in the discovery of drugs for the treatment of these disorders.
Xiaoyue Pan, Joyce Queiroz, M. Mahmood Hussain
Background. Given the heightened tolerance to self-starvation in anorexia nervosa, a hypothalamic dysregulation of energy and glucose homeostasis has been hypothesized. Therefore, we investigated whether hypothalamic reactivity to glucose metabolism is impaired in AN. Methods. Twenty-four participants with AN, 28 normal-weight and 24 healthy participants with obesity underwent 2 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sessions in a single-blind, random-order, case-controlled crossover design. We used an intragastric infusion of glucose and water to bypass the cephalic phase of food intake. The responsivity of the hypothalamus and the crosstalk of the hypothalamus with reward-related brain regions were investigated using high-resolution MRI. Results. Normal-weight control participants displayed the expected glucose-induced deactivation of hypothalamic activation, whereas patients with AN and participants with obesity showed blunted hypothalamic reactivity. Compared to normal-weight and obese controls, patients with AN failed to show functional connectivity between the hypothalamus and reward-related brain regions during water relative to glucose. Finally, patients with AN displayed typical baseline levels of peripheral appetite hormones during a negative energy balance. Conclusion. These results indicate that blunted hypothalamic glucose reactivity might be related to the pathophysiology of AN. This provides new insights for future research, as it is an extended perspective of the traditional primary nonhomeostatic understanding of the disease. Funding. This study was supported by a grant from the DFG (SI 2087/2-1).
Joe J. Simon, Marion A. Stopyra, Esther Mönning, Sebastian C. A. M. Sailer, Nora Lavandier, Lars Kihm, Martin Bendszus, Hubert Preissl, Wolfgang Herzog, Hans-Christoph Friederich
We previously established that global deletion of the enhancer of trithorax and polycomb (ETP) gene, Asxl2, prevents weight gain. Because proinflammatory macrophages recruited to adipose tissue are central to the metabolic complications of obesity, we explored the role of ASXL2 in myeloid lineage cells. Unexpectedly, mice without Asxl2 only in myeloid cells (Asxl2ΔLysM) were completely resistant to diet-induced weight gain and metabolically normal despite increased food intake, comparable activity, and equivalent fecal fat. Asxl2ΔLysM mice resisted HFD-induced adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and inflammatory cytokine gene expression. Energy expenditure and brown adipose tissue metabolism in Asxl2ΔLysM mice were protected from the suppressive effects of HFD, a phenomenon associated with relatively increased catecholamines likely due to their suppressed degradation by macrophages. White adipose tissue of HFD-fed Asxl2ΔLysM mice also exhibited none of the pathological remodeling extant in their control counterparts. Suppression of macrophage Asxl2 expression, via nanoparticle-based siRNA delivery, prevented HFD-induced obesity. Thus, ASXL2 controlled the response of macrophages to dietary factors to regulate metabolic homeostasis, suggesting modulation of the cells’ inflammatory phenotype may impact obesity and its complications.
Wei Zou, Nidhi Rohatgi, Jonathan R. Brestoff, John R. Moley, Yongjia Li, Jesse W. Williams, Yael Alippe, Hua Pan, Terri A. Pietka, Gabriel Mbalaviele, Elizabeth P. Newberry, Nicholas O. Davidson, Anwesha Dey, Kooresh I. Shoghi, Richard D. Head, Samuel A. Wickline, Gwendalyn J. Randolph, Nada A. Abumrad, Steven L. Teitelbaum
Lipid-rich myelin forms electrically insulating, axon-wrapping multilayers that are essential for neural function, and mature myelin is traditionally considered metabolically inert. Surprisingly, we discovered that mature myelin lipids undergo rapid turnover, and quaking (Qki) is a major regulator of myelin lipid homeostasis. Oligodendrocyte-specific Qki depletion, without affecting oligodendrocyte survival, resulted in rapid demyelination, within 1 week, and gradually neurological deficits in adult mice. Myelin lipids, especially the monounsaturated fatty acids and very-long-chain fatty acids, were dramatically reduced by Qki depletion, whereas the major myelin proteins remained intact, and the demyelinating phenotypes of Qki-depleted mice were alleviated by a high-fat diet. Mechanistically, Qki serves as a coactivator of the PPARβ-RXRα complex, which controls the transcription of lipid-metabolism genes, particularly those involved in fatty acid desaturation and elongation. Treatment of Qki-depleted mice with PPARβ/RXR agonists significantly alleviated neurological disability and extended survival durations. Furthermore, a subset of lesions from patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis were characterized by preferential reductions in myelin lipid contents, activities of various lipid metabolism pathways, and expression level of QKI-5 in human oligodendrocytes. Together, our results demonstrate that continuous lipid synthesis is indispensable for mature myelin maintenance and highlight an underappreciated role of lipid metabolism in demyelinating diseases.
Xin Zhou, Chenxi He, Jiangong Ren, Congxin Dai, Sharon R. Stevens, Qianghu Wang, Daniel Zamler, Takashi Shingu, Liang Yuan, Chythra R. Chandregowda, Yunfei Wang, Visweswaran Ravikumar, Arvind U.K. Rao, Feng Zhou, Hongwu Zheng, Matthew N. Rasband, Yiwen Chen, Fei Lan, Amy B. Heimberger, Benjamin M. Segal, Jian Hu