Insulin integrates hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism, directing nutrients to storage as glycogen and triglyceride. In type 2 diabetes, levels of the former are low and the latter are exaggerated, posing a pathophysiologic and therapeutic conundrum. A branching model of insulin signalling, with FoxO1 presiding over glucose production and Srebp-1c regulating lipogenesis, provides a potential explanation. Here we illustrate an alternative mechanism that integrates glucose production and lipogenesis under the unifying control of FoxO. Liver-specific ablation of three FoxOs (L-FoxO1,3,4) prevents the induction of glucose-6-phosphatase and the repression of glucokinase during fasting, thus increasing lipogenesis at the expense of glucose production. We document a similar pattern in the early phases of diet-induced insulin resistance, and propose that FoxOs are required to enable the liver to direct nutritionally derived carbons to glucose versus lipid metabolism. Our data underscore the heterogeneity of hepatic insulin resistance during progression from the metabolic syndrome to overt diabetes, and the conceptual challenge of designing therapies that curtail glucose production without promoting hepatic lipid accumulation.
The liver plays a central role in metabolism and mediating insulin action. To dissect the effects of insulin on the liver in vivo, we have studied liver insulin receptor knockout (LIRKO) mice. Because LIRKO livers lack insulin receptors, they are unable to respond to insulin. Surprisingly, the most profound derangement observed in LIRKO livers by microarray analysis is a suppression of the cholesterologenic genes. Sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-2 promotes cholesterologenic gene transcription, and is inhibited by intracellular cholesterol. LIRKO livers show a slight increase in hepatic cholesterol, a 40% decrease in Srebp-2, and a 50-90% decrease in the cholesterologenic genes at the mRNA and protein levels. In control mice, SREBP-2 and cholesterologenic gene expression are suppressed by fasting and restored by refeeding; in LIRKO mice, this response is abolished. Similarly, the ability of statins to induce Srebp-2 and the cholesterologenic genes is lost in LIRKO livers. In contrast, ezetimibe treatment robustly induces Srepb-2 and its targets in LIRKO livers, raising the possibility that insulin may regulate SREBP-2 indirectly, by altering the accumulation or distribution of cholesterol within the hepatocyte. Taken together, these data indicate that cholesterol synthesis is a key target of insulin action in the liver.
A major barrier in reversing diabetic complications is that molecular and pathologic effects of elevated glucose persist despite normalization of glucose, a phenomenon referred to as metabolic memory. In the present studies we have investigated the effects of elevated glucose on Schwann cells, which are implicated in diabetic neuropathy. Using quantitative PCR arrays for glucose and fatty acid metabolism, we have found that chronic (>8 wk) 25 mM high glucose induces a persistent increase in genes that promote glycolysis, while inhibiting those that oppose glycolysis and alternate metabolic pathways such as fatty acid metabolism, the pentose phosphate pathway, and trichloroacetic acid cycle. These sustained effects were associated with decreased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)? binding and persistently increased reactive oxygen species, cellular NADH, and altered DNA methylation. Agonists of PPAR? and PPAR? prevented select effects of glucose-induced gene expression. These observations suggest that Schwann cells exhibit features of metabolic memory that may be regulated at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, targeting PPAR may prevent metabolic memory and the development of diabetic complications.
Diabesity has become a popular term to describe the specific form of diabetes that develops late in life and is associated with obesity. While there is a correlation between diabetes and obesity, the association is not universally predictive. Defining the metabolic characteristics of obesity that lead to diabetes, and how obese individuals who develop diabetes different from those who do not, are important goals. The use of large-scale omics analyses (e.g., metabolomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, and lipidomic) of diabetes and obesity may help to identify new targets to treat these conditions. This report discusses how various types of omics data can be integrated to shed light on the changes in metabolism that occur in obesity and diabetes.
Lipid metabolism is tightly controlled by the nutritional state of the organism. Nutrient-rich conditions increase lipogenesis, whereas nutrient deprivation promotes fat oxidation. In this study, we identify the mitochondrial sirtuin, SIRT4, as a regulator of lipid homeostasis. SIRT4 is active in nutrient-replete conditions to repress fatty acid oxidation while promoting lipid anabolism. SIRT4 deacetylates and inhibits malonyl CoA decarboxylase (MCD), an enzyme that produces acetyl CoA from malonyl CoA. Malonyl CoA provides the carbon skeleton for lipogenesis and also inhibits fat oxidation. Mice lacking SIRT4 display elevated MCD activity and decreased malonyl CoA in skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue. Consequently, SIRT4 KO mice display deregulated lipid metabolism, leading to increased exercise tolerance and protection against diet-induced obesity. In sum, this work elucidates SIRT4 as an important regulator of lipid homeostasis, identifies MCD as a SIRT4 target, and deepens our understanding of the malonyl CoA regulatory axis.
Previous studies have demonstrated that glucose disposal is increased in the Fyn knockout (FynKO) mice due to increased insulin sensitivity. FynKO mice also display fasting hypoglycaemia despite decreased insulin levels, which suggested that hepatic glucose production was unable to compensate for the increased basal glucose utilization. The present study investigates the basis for the reduction in plasma glucose levels and the reduced ability for the liver to produce glucose in response to gluconeogenic substrates. FynKO mice had a 5-fold reduction in phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene and protein expression and a marked reduction in pyruvate, pyruvate/lactate-stimulated glucose output. Remarkably, de novo glucose production was also blunted using gluconeogenic substrates that bypass the PEPCK step. Impaired conversion of glycerol to glucose was observed in both glycerol tolerance test and determination of the conversion of (13)C-glycerol to glucose in the fasted state. ?-glycerol phosphate levels were reduced but glycerol kinase protein expression levels were not changed. Fructose-driven glucose production was also diminished without alteration of fructokinase expression levels. The normal levels of dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate observed in the FynKO liver extracts suggested normal triose kinase function. Fructose-bisphosphate aldolase (aldolase) mRNA or protein levels were normal in the Fyn-deficient livers, however, there was a large reduction in liver fructose-6-phosphate (30-fold) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (7-fold) levels as well as a reduction in glucose-6-phosphate (2-fold) levels. These data suggest a mechanistic defect in the allosteric regulation of aldolase activity.
The elucidation of extra-nuclear lysine acetylation has been of growing interest, as the cosubstrate for acetylation, acetyl CoA, is at a key metabolic intersection. Our hypothesis was that mitochondrial and cytoplasmic protein acetylation may be part of a fasted/re-fed feedback control system for the regulation of the metabolic network in fuel switching, where acetyl CoA would be provided by fatty acid oxidation, or glycolysis, respectively. To test this, we characterized the mitochondrial and cytoplasmic acetylome in various organs that have a high metabolic rate relative to their mass, and/or switch fuels, under fasted and re-fed conditions (brain, kidney, liver, skeletal muscle, heart muscle, white and brown adipose tissues). Using immunoprecipitation, coupled with LC-MS/MS label free quantification, we show there is a dramatic variation in global quantitative profiles of acetylated proteins from different organs. In total, 733 acetylated peptides from 337 proteins were identified and quantified, out of which 31 acetylated peptides from the metabolic proteins that may play organ-specific roles were analyzed in detail. Results suggest that fasted/re-fed acetylation changes coordinated by organ-specific (de)acetylases in insulin-sensitive versus -insensitive organs may underlie fuel use and switching. Characterization of the tissue-specific acetylome should increase understanding of metabolic conditions wherein normal fuel switching is disrupted, such as in Type II diabetes.
It has been assumed, based largely on morphologic evidence, that human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) contain underdeveloped, bioenergetically inactive mitochondria. In contrast, differentiated cells harbour a branched mitochondrial network with oxidative phosphorylation as the main energy source. A role for mitochondria in hPSC bioenergetics and in cell differentiation therefore remains uncertain. Here, we show that hPSCs have functional respiratory complexes that are able to consume O(2) at maximal capacity. Despite this, ATP generation in hPSCs is mainly by glycolysis and ATP is consumed by the F(1)F(0) ATP synthase to partially maintain hPSC mitochondrial membrane potential and cell viability. Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) plays a regulating role in hPSC energy metabolism by preventing mitochondrial glucose oxidation and facilitating glycolysis via a substrate shunting mechanism. With early differentiation, hPSC proliferation slows, energy metabolism decreases, and UCP2 is repressed, resulting in decreased glycolysis and maintained or increased mitochondrial glucose oxidation. Ectopic UCP2 expression perturbs this metabolic transition and impairs hPSC differentiation. Overall, hPSCs contain active mitochondria and require UCP2 repression for full differentiation potential.
In this study, a tandem LC-MS (Waters Xevo TQ) MRM-based MS method was developed for rapid, broad profiling of hydrophilic metabolites from biological samples, in either positive or negative ion modes without the need for an ion pairing reagent, using a reversed-phase pentafluorophenylpropyl (PFPP) column. The developed method was successfully applied to analyze various biological samples from C57BL/6 mice, including urine, duodenum, liver, plasma, kidney, heart, and skeletal muscle. As result, a total 112 of hydrophilic metabolites were detected within 8 min of running time to obtain a metabolite profile of the biological samples. The analysis of this number of hydrophilic metabolites is significantly faster than previous studies. Classification separation for metabolites from different tissues was globally analyzed by PCA, PLS-DA and HCA biostatistical methods. Overall, most of the hydrophilic metabolites were found to have a "fingerprint" characteristic of tissue dependency. In general, a higher level of most metabolites was found in urine, duodenum, and kidney. Altogether, these results suggest that this method has potential application for targeted metabolomic analyzes of hydrophilic metabolites in a wide ranges of biological samples.
Previous studies have demonstrated that the VAMP8 protein plays a complex role in the control of granule secretion, transport vesicle trafficking, phagocytosis, and endocytosis. The present study was aimed to investigate the role of VAMP8 in mediating GLUT4 trafficking and therefore insulin action in mice.
Fyn null mice display reduced adiposity associated with increased fatty acid oxidation, energy expenditure, and activation of the AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK) in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. The acute pharmacological inhibition of Fyn kinase activity with SU6656 in wild-type mice reproduces these metabolic effects and induced a specific reduction in fat mass with no change in lean mass. LKB1, the main upstream AMPK kinase (AMPKK) in peripheral tissues, was redistributed from the nucleus into the cytoplasm of cells treated with SU6656 and in cells expressing a kinase-deficient, but not a constitutively kinase-active, Fyn mutant. Moreover, Fyn kinase directly phosphorylated LKB1 on tyrosine 261 and 365 residues, and mutations of these sites resulted in LKB1 export into the cytoplasm and increased AMPK phosphorylation. These data demonstrate a crosstalk between Fyn tyrosine kinase and the AMPK energy-sensing pathway, through Fyn-dependent regulation of the AMPK upstream activator LKB1.
SIRT6 is a member of a highly conserved family of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases with various roles in metabolism, stress resistance, and life span. SIRT6-deficient mice develop normally but succumb to a lethal hypoglycemia early in life; however, the mechanism underlying this hypoglycemia remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT6 functions as a histone H3K9 deacetylase to control the expression of multiple glycolytic genes. Specifically, SIRT6 appears to function as a corepressor of the transcription factor Hif1alpha, a critical regulator of nutrient stress responses. Consistent with this notion, SIRT6-deficient cells exhibit increased Hif1alpha activity and show increased glucose uptake with upregulation of glycolysis and diminished mitochondrial respiration. Our studies uncover a role for the chromatin factor SIRT6 as a master regulator of glucose homeostasis and may provide the basis for novel therapeutic approaches against metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.
In vivo insulin sensitivity can be assessed using "open loop" clamp or "closed loop" methods. Open loop clamp methods are static, and fix plasma glucose independently from plasma insulin. Closed loop methods are dynamic, and assess glucose disposal in response to a stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance test. Using PPARalpha(-/-) mice, open and closed loop assessments of insulin sensitivity/glucose disposal were compared. Indirect calorimetry done for the assessment of diurnal substrate utilization/metabolic flexibility showed that chow fed PPARalpha(-/-) mice had increased glucose utilization during the light (starved) cycle. Euglycemic clamps showed no differences in insulin stimulated glucose disposal, whether for chow or high fat diets, but did show differences in basal glucose clearance for chow fed PPARalpha(-/-) versus SV129J-wt mice. In contrast, the dynamic stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance tests reveal enhanced glucose disposal for PPARalpha(-/-) versus SV129J-wt, for chow and high fat diets. Area under the curve for plasma labeled and unlabeled glucose for PPARalpha(-/-) was approximately 1.7-fold lower, P < 0.01 during the stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance test for both diets. Area under the curve for plasma insulin was 5-fold less for the chow fed SV129J-wt (P < 0.01) but showed no difference on a high fat diet (0.30 +/- 0.1 for SV129J-wt vs. 0.13 +/- 0.10 for PPARalpha(-/-), P = 0.28). This study demonstrates that dynamic stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance test can assess "silent" metabolic phenotypes, not detectable by the static, "open loop", euglycemic or hyperglycemic clamps. Both open loop and closed loop methods may describe different aspects of metabolic inflexibility and insulin sensitivity.
Integrin receptor plays key roles in mediating both inside-out and outside-in signaling between cells and the extracellular matrix. We have observed that the tissue-specific loss of the integrin beta1 subunit in striated muscle results in a near complete loss of integrin beta1 subunit protein expression concomitant with a loss of talin and to a lesser extent, a reduction in F-actin content. Muscle-specific integrin beta1-deficient mice had no significant difference in food intake, weight gain, fasting glucose, and insulin levels with their littermate controls. However, dynamic analysis of glucose homeostasis using euglycemichyperinsulinemic clamps demonstrated a 44 and 48% reduction of insulin-stimulated glucose infusion rate and glucose clearance, respectively. The whole body insulin resistance resulted from a specific inhibition of skeletal muscle glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis without any significant effect on the insulin suppression of hepatic glucose output or insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipose tissue. The reduction in skeletal muscle insulin responsiveness occurred without any change in GLUT4 protein expression levels but was associated with an impairment of the insulin-stimulated protein kinase B/Akt serine 473 phosphorylation but not threonine 308. The inhibition of insulin-stimulated serine 473 phosphorylation occurred concomitantly with a decrease in integrin-linked kinase expression but with no change in the mTOR.Rictor.LST8 complex (mTORC2). These data demonstrate an in vivo crucial role of integrin beta1 signaling events in mediating cross-talk to that of insulin action.
Altered lipid metabolism underlies several major human diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, lipid metabolism pathophysiology remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Insulin is the primary stimulator of hepatic lipogenesis through activation of the SREBP-1c transcription factor. Here we identified cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (CDK8) and its regulatory partner cyclin C (CycC) as negative regulators of the lipogenic pathway in Drosophila, mammalian hepatocytes, and mouse liver. The inhibitory effect of CDK8 and CycC on de novo lipogenesis was mediated through CDK8 phosphorylation of nuclear SREBP-1c at a conserved threonine residue. Phosphorylation by CDK8 enhanced SREBP-1c ubiquitination and protein degradation. Importantly, consistent with the physiologic regulation of lipid biosynthesis, CDK8 and CycC proteins were rapidly downregulated by feeding and insulin, resulting in decreased SREBP-1c phosphorylation. Moreover, overexpression of CycC efficiently suppressed insulin and feeding-induced lipogenic gene expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate that CDK8 and CycC function as evolutionarily conserved components of the insulin signaling pathway in regulating lipid homeostasis.
Dissecting the role of insulin in the complex regulation of triglyceride metabolism is necessary for understanding dyslipidemia and steatosis. Liver insulin receptor knockout (LIRKO) mice show that in the physiological context of feeding, hepatic insulin signaling is not required for the induction of mTORC1, an upstream activator of the lipogenic regulator, SREBP-1c. Feeding induces SREBP-1c mRNA in LIRKO livers, though not to the extent observed in controls. A high fructose diet also partially induces SREBP-1c and lipogenic gene expression in LIRKO livers. Insulin signaling becomes more important in the pathological context of obesity, as knockdown of the insulin receptor in ob/ob mice, a model of Type 2 diabetes, using antisense oligonucleotides, abolishes the induction of SREBP-1c and its targets by obesity and ameliorates steatosis. Thus, insulin-independent signaling pathways can partially compensate for insulin in the induction of SREBP-1c by feeding but the further induction by obesity/Type 2 diabetes is entirely dependent upon insulin.
FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase), primarily expressed in the liver, hydrolyzes the endocannabinoids fatty acid ethanolamides (FAA). Human FAAH gene mutations are associated with increased body weight and obesity. In our present study, using targeted metabolite and lipid profiling, and new global acetylome profiling methodologies, we examined the role of the liver on fuel and energy homeostasis in whole body FAAH(-/-) mice.
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