Adipose tissue is crucial for the maintenance of energy and metabolic homeostasis and its deregulation can lead to obesity and type II diabetes (T2D). Using gene disruption in the mouse, we discovered a function for a RhoA-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor PDZ-RhoGEF (Arhgef11) in white adipose tissue biology. While PDZ-RhoGEF was dispensable for a number of RhoA signaling-mediated processes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, including stress fiber formation and cell migration, it's deletion led to a reduction in their proliferative potential. On a whole organism level, PDZ-RhoGEF deletion resulted in an acute increase in energy expenditure, selectively impaired early adipose tissue development and decreased adiposity in adults. PDZ-RhoGEF-deficient mice were protected from diet-induced obesity and T2D. Mechanistically, PDZ-RhoGEF enhanced insulin/IGF-1 signaling in adipose tissue by controlling ROCK-dependent phosphorylation of the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1). Our results demonstrate that PDZ-RhoGEF acts as a key determinant of mammalian metabolism and obesity-associated pathologies.
Animal experimentation: All animal work was conducted according to the Policies and Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care and the Province of Ontario's Animals for Research Act. The protocol was approved by the Animal Care Committee of Princess Margaret Cancer Center at University Health Network (permit Number:933 and 2176).
- Amy J Wagers, Harvard University, United States
© 2015, Chang et al.
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