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Shui-lin Sun and Liang-ming Liu

Urotensin II (UII) is a polypeptide molecule with neurohormone-like activity. It has been confirmed that UII is widely distributed in numerous organs of different animal species from fish to mammals, including humans. The UII receptor is orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 14, also known as UT. The tissue distribution of UII and UT is highly consistent, and their expression may be regulated by autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. In the body, UII has many physiological and pathophysiological activities, such as vasoconstrictor and vasodilatory actions, cell proliferation, pro-fibrosis, neuroendocrine activity, insulin resistance and carcinogenic and inflammatory effects, which have been recognized only in recent years. In fact, UII is involved in the process of inflammatory injury and plays a key role in the onset and development of inflammatory diseases. In this paper, we will review the roles UII plays in inflammatory diseases.

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Junlan Zhou, Min Cheng, Chan Boriboun, Mariam M Ardehali, Changfei Jiang, Qinghua Liu, Shuling Han, David A Goukassian, Yao-Liang Tang, Ting C Zhao, Ming Zhao, Lu Cai, Stéphane Richard, Raj Kishore and Gangjian Qin

Obesity is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; molecular mechanisms that promote energy expenditure can be utilized for effective therapy. Src-associated in mitosis of 68 kDa (Sam68) is potentially significant, because knockout (KO) of Sam68 leads to markedly reduced adiposity. In the present study, we sought to determine the mechanism by which Sam68 regulates adiposity and energy homeostasis. We first found that Sam68 KO mice have a significantly reduced body weight as compared to controls, and the difference is explained entirely by decreased adiposity. Interestingly, these effects were not mediated by a difference in food intake; rather, they were associated with enhanced physical activity. When they were fed a high-fat diet, Sam68 KO mice gained much less body weight and fat mass than their WT littermates did, and they displayed an improved glucose and insulin tolerance. In Sam68 KO mice, the brown adipose tissue (BAT), inguinal, and epididymal depots were smaller, and their adipocytes were less hypertrophied as compared to their WT littermates. The BAT of Sam68 KO mice exhibited reduced lipid stores and expressed higher levels of Ucp1 and key thermogenic and fatty acid oxidation genes. Similarly, depots of inguinal and epididymal white adipose tissue (WAT) in Sam68 KO mice appeared browner, their multilocular Ucp1-positive cells were much more abundant, and the expression of Ucp1, Cidea, Prdm16, and Ppargc1a genes was greater as compared to WT controls, which suggests that the loss of Sam68 also promotes WAT browning. Furthermore, in all of the fat depots of the Sam68 KO mice, the expression of M2 macrophage markers was up-regulated, and that of M1 markers was down-regulated. Thus, Sam68 plays a crucial role in controlling thermogenesis and may be targeted to combat obesity and associated disorders.