Transcription factor E3 (TFE3) is a transcription factor that binds to E-box motifs and promotes energy metabolism-related genes. We previously reported that TFE3 directly binds to the insulin receptor substrate-2 promoter in the liver, resulting in increased insulin response. However, the role of TFE3 in other tissues remains unclear. In this study, we generated adipose-specific TFE3 transgenic (aP2-TFE3 Tg) mice. These mice had a higher weight of white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue than wild-type (WT) mice under fasting conditions. Lipase activity in the WAT in these mice was lower than that in the WT mice. The mRNA level of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), the rate-limiting enzyme for adipocyte lipolysis, was significantly decreased in aP2-TFE3 Tg mice. The expression of Foxo1, which directly activates ATGL expression, was also suppressed in transgenic mice. Promoter analysis confirmed that TFE3 suppressed promoter activities of the ATGL gene. In contrast, G0S2 and Perilipin1, which attenuate ATGL activity, were higher in transgenic mice than in WT mice. These results indicated that the decrease in lipase activity in adipose tissues was due to a decrease in ATGL expression and suppression of ATGL activity. We also showed that thermogenesis was suppressed in aP2-TFE3 Tg mice. The decrease in lipolysis in WAT of aP2-TFE3 Tg mice inhibited the supply of fatty acids to brown adipose tissue, resulting in the inhibition of the expression of thermogenesis-related genes such as UCP1. Our data provide new evidence that TFE3 regulates lipid metabolism by controlling the gene expression related to lipolysis and thermogenesis in adipose tissue.
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