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Zhe-Zhen Liao, Xiao-Yan Qi, Ya-Di Wang, Jiao-Yang Li, Qian-Qian Gu, Can Hu, Yin Hu, Heng Sun, Li Ran, Jing Yang, Jiang-Hua Liu, and Xin-Hua Xiao

Remodeling of energy-storing white fat into energy-consuming beige fat has led to a promising new approach to alleviate adiposity. Several studies have shown adipokines can induce white adipose tissue (WAT) beiging through autocrine or paracrine actions. Betatrophin, a novel adipokine, has been linked to energy expenditure and lipolysis but not clearly clarified. Here, we using high-fat diet-induced obesity to determine how betatrophin modulate beiging and adiposity. We found that betatrophin-knockdown mice displayed less white fat mass and decreased plasma TG and NEFA levels. Consistently, inhibition of betatrophin leads to the phenotype change of adipocytes characterized by increased mitochondria contents, beige adipocytes and mitochondria biogenesis-specific markers both in vivo and in vitro. Of note, blocking AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway is able to abolish enhanced beige-like characteristics in betatrophin-knockdown adipocytes. Collectively, downregulation of betatrophin induces beiging in white adipocytes through activation of AMPK signaling pathway. These processes suggest betatrophin as a latent therapeutic target for obesity.

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Yujiao Dai, Peng Hao, Zhimei Sun, Zhiyi Guo, Hong Xu, Lihui Xue, Hongyu Song, Yida Li, Shuang Li, Mingming Gao, Teng Si, Yuxin Zhang, and Yajuan Qi

Yes-associated protein (YAP), as a co-activator of transcription factors, is a downstream protein in the Hippo signaling pathway with important functions in cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration. YAP also plays a key role in the development of CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. However, the mechanism of YAP during hepatic fibrosis progression and reversion is still unclear. Mild liver fibrosis was developed after 4 months of high-fat diet (HFD) stimulation, and we found that the YAP signaling pathway was activated. Here, we aim to reveal whether specific knockout of Yap gene in the liver can improve liver fibrosis induced by insulin resistance (IR) stimulated by HFD, and further explain its specific mechanism. We found that liver-specific Yap gene knockout improved IR-induced liver fibrosis and liver dysfunction, and this mechanism is related to the inhibition of the insulin signal pathway at the FoxO1 level. These findings provide a new insight, and Yap is expected to be a new target to reverse the early stage of liver fibrosis induced by IR.