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Xiwen Xiong, Cuicui Zhang, Yang Zhang, Rui Fan, Xinlai Qian, and X Charlie Dong

SIRT6 is a member of sirtuin family of deacetylases involved in diverse processes including genome stability, metabolic homeostasis and anti-inflammation. However, its function in the adipose tissue is not well understood. To examine the metabolic function of SIRT6 in the adipose tissue, we generated two mouse models that are deficient in Sirt6 using the Cre-lox approach. Two commonly used Cre lines that are driven by either the mouse Fabp4 or Adipoq gene promoter were chosen for this study. The Sirt6-knockout mice generated by the Fabp4-Cre line (Sirt6 f/f :Fabp4-Cre) had a significant increase in both body weight and fat mass and exhibited glucose intolerance and insulin resistance as compared with the control wild-type mice. At the molecular levels, the Sirt6 f/f :Fabp4-Cre-knockout mice had increased expression of inflammatory genes including F4/80, TNFα, IL-6 and MCP-1 in both white and brown adipose tissues. Moreover, the knockout mice showed decreased expression of the adiponectin gene in the white adipose tissue and UCP1 in the brown adipose tissue, respectively. In contrast, the Sirt6 knockout mice generated by the Adipoq-Cre line (Sirt6 f/f :Adipoq-Cre) only had modest insulin resistance. In conclusion, our data suggest that the function of SIRT6 in the Fabp4-Cre-expressing cells in addition to mature adipocytes plays a critical role in body weight maintenance and metabolic homeostasis.

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Lin Xia, Zhongqiu Wang, Ying Zhang, Xiao Yang, Yibei Zhan, Rui Cheng, Shiming Wang, and Jianfa Zhang

A previous investigation has demonstrated that plasma 5′-AMP (pAMP) exacerbates and causes hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. However, the crosstalk between pAMP and insulin signaling to regulate glucose homeostasis has not been investigated in depth. In this study, we showed that the blood glucose level was more dependent on the ratio of insulin to pAMP than on the absolute level of these two factors. Administration of 5′-AMP significantly attenuated the insulin-stimulated insulin receptor (IR) autophosphorylation in the liver and muscle tissues, resulting in the inhibition of downstream AKT phosphorylation. A docking analysis indicated that adenosine was a potential inhibitor of IR tyrosine kinase. Moreover, the 5′-AMP treatment elevated the ATP level in the pancreas and in the isolated islets, stimulating insulin secretion and increasing the plasma level of insulin. The insulin administration decreased the 5′-AMP-induced hyper-adenosine level by the up-regulation of adenosine kinase activities. Our results indicate that blood glucose homeostasis is reciprocally regulated by pAMP and insulin.

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Tian Shuang, Ming Fu, Guangdong Yang, Ying Huang, Zhongming Qian, Lingyun Wu, and Rui Wang

Both estrogen and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) inhibit the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and development of atherosclerosis. In the absence of endogenous H2S as occurred in CSE-knockout (KO) mouse, however, estrogen stimulates the proliferation of vascular SMCs. The underlying mechanisms for this seemingly controversial vascular effect of estrogen are unclear. In the present study, we demonstrated that the stimulatory effect of estrogen on the proliferation of CSE-KO SMCs was suppressed by the inhibitor of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) or knockdown of IGF-1R protein expression. Estrogen downregulated the expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and IGF-1R in aortic tissues or aortic SMCs isolated from WT and CSE-KO mice. Furthermore, endogenous H2S downregulated IGF-1R, but upregulated estrogen receptor (ER)-α, in aortic tissues or SMCs. ER-α and IGF-1R were co-located in SMCs and co-immunoprecipitated, which was decreased by H2S. Finally, both endogenous and exogenous H2S induced the S-sulfhydration of IGF-1R, but not ER-α, in WT-SMCs and CSE-KO SMCs, which underlies the decreased formation of IGF-1R/ER-α hybrid in the presence of H2S. Thus, the absence of H2S favors the interaction of estrogen with IGF-1R/ER-α hybrid to stimulate SMCs proliferation. The appreciation of a critical role of H2S in preventing estrogen-induced SMCs proliferation will help better understand the regulation of complex vascular effects of estrogen and sex-related cardiovascular diseases.

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Chunchun Wei, Xianhua Ma, Kai Su, Shasha Qi, Yuangang Zhu, Junjian Lin, Chenxin Wang, Rui Yang, Xiaowei Chen, Weizhong Wang, and Weiping J Zhang

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a critical role in energy expenditure by uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-mediated thermogenesis. Carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP) is one of the key transcription factors regulating de novo lipogenesis (DNL). As a constitutively active form, ChREBP-β is expressed at extremely low levels. Up to date, its functional relevance in BAT remains unclear. In this study, we show that ChREBP-β inhibits BAT thermogenesis. BAT ChREBP-β mRNA levels were elevated upon cold exposure, which prompted us to generate a mouse model overexpressing ChREBP-β specifically in BAT using the Cre/LoxP approach. ChREBP-β overexpression led to a whitening phenotype of BAT at room temperature, as evidenced by increased lipid droplet size and decreased mitochondrion content. Moreover, BAT thermogenesis was inhibited upon acute cold exposure, and its metabolic remodeling induced by long-term cold adaptation was significantly impaired by ChREBP-β overexpression. Mechanistically, ChREBP-β overexpression downregulated expression of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis, autophagy, and respiration. Furthermore, thermogenic gene expression (e.g. Dio2, UCP1) was markedly inhibited in BAT by the overexpressed ChREBP-β. Put together, our work points to ChREBP-β as a negative regulator of thermogenesis in brown adipocytes.