Map4k4 suppresses Srebp-1 and adipocyte lipogenesis independent of JNK signaling.
ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue lipogenesis is paradoxically impaired in human obesity, promoting ectopic triglyceride (TG) deposition, lipotoxicity, and insulin resistance. We previously identified mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4 (Map4k4), a sterile 20 protein kinase reported to be upstream of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, as a novel negative regulator of insulin-stimulated glucose transport in adipocytes. Using full-genome microarray analysis we uncovered a novel role for Map4k4 as a suppressor of lipid synthesis. We further report here the surprising finding that Map4k4 suppresses adipocyte lipogenesis independently of JNK. Thus, while Map4k4 silencing in adipocytes enhances the expression of lipogenic enzymes, concomitant with increased conversion of (14)C-glucose and (14)C-acetate into TGs and fatty acids, JNK1 and JNK2 depletion causes the opposite effects. Furthermore, high expression of Map4k4 fails to activate endogenous JNK, while Map4k4 depletion does not attenuate JNK activation by tumor necrosis factor ?. Map4k4 silencing in cultured adipocytes elevates both the total protein expression and cleavage of sterol-regulated element binding protein-1 (Srebp-1) in a rapamycin-sensitive manner, consistent with Map4k4 signaling via mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). We show Map4k4 depletion requires Srebp-1 upregulation to increase lipogenesis and further show that Map4k4 promotes AMP-protein kinase (AMPK) signaling and the phosphorylation of mTORC1 binding partner raptor (Ser792) to inhibit mTORC1. Our results indicate that Map4k4 inhibits adipose lipogenesis by suppression of Srebp-1 in an AMPK- and mTOR-dependent but JNK-independent mechanism.
Project description:The livers of insulin-resistant, diabetic mice manifest selective insulin resistance, suggesting a bifurcation in the insulin signaling pathway: Insulin loses its ability to block glucose production (i.e., it fails to suppress PEPCK and other genes of gluconeogenesis), yet it retains its ability to stimulate fatty acid synthesis (i.e., continued enhancement of genes of lipogenesis). Enhanced lipogenesis is accompanied by an insulin-stimulated increase in the mRNA encoding SREBP-1c, a transcription factor that activates the entire lipogenic program. Here, we report a branch point in the insulin signaling pathway that may account for selective insulin resistance. Exposure of rat hepatocytes to insulin produced a 25-fold increase in SREBP-1c mRNA and a 95% decrease in PEPCK mRNA. Insulin-mediated changes in both mRNAs were blocked by inhibitors of PI3K and Akt, indicating that these kinases are required for both pathways. In contrast, subnanomolar concentrations of rapamycin, an inhibitor of the mTORC1 kinase, blocked insulin induction of SREBP-1c, but had no effect on insulin suppression of PEPCK. We observed a similar selective effect of rapamycin in livers of rats and mice that experienced an insulin surge in response to a fasting-refeeding protocol. A specific inhibitor of S6 kinase, a downstream target of mTORC1, did not block insulin induction of SREBP-1c, suggesting a downstream pathway distinct from S6 kinase. These results establish mTORC1 as an essential component in the insulin-regulated pathway for hepatic lipogenesis but not gluconeogenesis, and may help to resolve the paradox of selective insulin resistance in livers of diabetic rodents.
Project description:Orotic acid (OA), an intermediate in pyrimidine metabolism, has been used for a variety of purposes, such as dietary supplements. Although it is well documented that OA induces fatty liver in a species-specific manner, the precise molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The present study investigated the role of the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1) pathway in the OA-induced fatty liver. Treatment with OA suppressed the phosphorylation of AMPK via proteasomal degradation of upstream kinase LKB1 and induced activation of SREBP-1 in both human hepatoma cell lines and primary rat hepatocytes. OA-induced SREBP-1 transcriptional activity was suppressed by cotreatment with aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) or metformin, or by overexpression of constitutively active AMPK (CA-AMPK) in the human hepatoma cell line. Importantly, in vivo data corroborated these results. Feeding 1% OA with diet decreased the phosphorylation of AMPK and increased the maturation of SREBP-1 and the expression of SREBP-responsive genes in the rat liver. OA-induced lipid accumulation was also completely inhibited by rapamycin. Mouse hepatocytes and mice were resistant to OA-induced lipogenesis because of little if any response in AMPK and downstream effectors. In conclusion, OA induces hepatic lipogenesis, mediated predominantly by the AMPK/SREBP-1 pathway in rat hepatocytes and human hepatoma cell lines.
Project description:The receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) is considered a master regulator of adipocyte differentiation and promotes glucose and lipid metabolism in mature adipocytes. We recently identified the yeast Sterile 20 (Ste20) protein kinase ortholog, Map4k4, in an RNA interference-based screen as an inhibitor of PPARgamma expression in cultured adipocytes. Here, we show that RNA interference-mediated silencing of Map4k4 elevates the levels of both PPARgamma1 and PPARgamma2 proteins in 3T3-L1 adipocytes without affecting PPARgamma mRNA levels, suggesting that Map4k4 regulates PPARgamma at a post-transcriptional step. PPARgamma degradation rates are remarkably rapid as measured in the presence of cycloheximide (t(1/2) = 2 h), but silencing Map4k4 had no effect on PPARgamma degradation. However, depletion of Map4k4 significantly enhances [(35)S]methionine/cysteine incorporation into proteins, suggesting that Map4k4 signaling decreases protein translation. We show a function of Map4k4 is to inhibit rapamycin-sensitive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity, decreasing 4E-BP1 phosphorylation. In addition, our results show mTOR and 4E-BP1 are required for the increased PPARgamma protein expression upon Map4k4 knockdown. Consistent with this concept, adenovirus-mediated expression of Map4k4 decreased PPARgamma protein levels and mTOR phosphorylation. These data show that Map4k4 negatively regulates PPARgamma post-transcriptionally, by attenuating mTOR signaling and a 4E-BP1-dependent mechanism.
Project description:Cell growth (accumulation of mass) needs to be coordinated with metabolic processes that are required for the synthesis of macromolecules. The PI3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway induces cell growth via activation of complex 1 of the target of rapamycin (TORC1). Here we show that Akt-dependent lipogenesis requires mTORC1 activity. Furthermore, nuclear accumulation of the mature form of the sterol responsive element binding protein (SREBP1) and expression of SREBP target genes was blocked by the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin. We also show that silencing of SREBP blocks Akt-dependent lipogenesis and attenuates the increase in cell size in response to Akt activation in vitro. Silencing of dSREBP in flies caused a reduction in cell and organ size and blocked the induction of cell growth by dPI3K. Our results suggest that the PI3K/Akt/TOR pathway regulates protein and lipid biosynthesis in an orchestrated manner and that both processes are required for cell growth.
Project description:Signaling by mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) promotes anabolic cellular processes in response to growth factors, nutrients, and hormonal cues. Numerous clinical trials employing the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin (aka sirolimus) to immuno-suppress patients following organ transplantation have documented the development of hypertriglyceridemia and elevated serum free fatty acids (FFA). We therefore investigated the cellular role of mTORC1 in control of triacylglycerol (TAG) metabolism using cultured murine 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We found that treatment of adipocytes with rapamycin reduced insulin-stimulated TAG storage ~50%. To determine whether rapamycin reduces TAG storage by upregulating lipolytic rate, we treated adipocytes in the absence and presence of rapamycin and isoproterenol, a β2-adrenergic agonist that activates the cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway to promote lipolysis. We found that rapamycin augmented isoproterenol-induced lipolysis without altering cAMP levels. Rapamycin enhanced the isoproterenol-stimulated phosphorylation of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) on Ser-563 (a PKA site), but had no effect on the phosphorylation of HSL S565 (an AMPK site). Additionally, rapamycin did not affect the isoproterenol-mediated phosphorylation of perilipin, a protein that coats the lipid droplet to initiate lipolysis upon phosphorylation by PKA. These data demonstrate that inhibition of mTORC1 signaling synergizes with the β-adrenergic-cAMP/PKA pathway to augment phosphorylation of HSL to promote hormone-induced lipolysis. Moreover, they reveal a novel metabolic function for mTORC1; mTORC1 signaling suppresses lipolysis, thus augmenting TAG storage.
Project description:The nutrient- and growth factor-responsive kinase mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) regulates many processes that control growth, including protein synthesis, autophagy, and lipogenesis. Through unknown mechanisms, mTORC1 promotes the function of SREBP, a master regulator of lipo- and sterolgenic gene transcription. Here, we demonstrate that mTORC1 regulates SREBP by controlling the nuclear entry of lipin 1, a phosphatidic acid phosphatase. Dephosphorylated, nuclear, catalytically active lipin 1 promotes nuclear remodeling and mediates the effects of mTORC1 on SREBP target gene, SREBP promoter activity, and nuclear SREBP protein abundance. Inhibition of mTORC1 in the liver significantly impairs SREBP function and makes mice resistant, in a lipin 1-dependent fashion, to the hepatic steatosis and hypercholesterolemia induced by a high-fat and -cholesterol diet. These findings establish lipin 1 as a key component of the mTORC1-SREBP pathway.
Project description:The insulin-regulated glucose transporter GLUT4 is a key modulator of whole body glucose homeostasis, and its selective loss in adipose tissue or skeletal muscle causes insulin resistance and diabetes. Here we report an RNA interference-based screen of protein kinases expressed in adipocytes and identify four negative regulators of insulin-responsive glucose transport: the protein kinases PCTAIRE-1 (PCTK1), PFTAIRE-1 (PFTK1), IkappaB kinase alpha, and MAP4K4/NIK. Integrin-linked protein kinase was identified as a positive regulator of this process. We characterized one of these hits, MAP4K4/NIK, and found that it is unique among mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases expressed in cultured adipocytes in attenuating hexose transport. Remarkably, MAP4K4/NIK suppresses expression of the adipogenic transcription factors C/EBPalpha, C/EBPbeta, and PPARgamma and of GLUT4 itself in these cells. RNA interference-mediated depletion of MAP4K4/NIK early in differentiation enhances adipogenesis and triglyceride deposition, and even in fully differentiated adipocytes its loss up-regulates GLUT4. Conversely, conditions that inhibit adipogenesis such as TNF-alpha treatment or depletion of PPARgamma markedly up-regulate MAP4K4/NIK expression in cultured adipocytes. Furthermore, TNF-alpha signaling to down-regulate GLUT4 is impaired in the absence of MAP4K4/NIK, indicating that MAP4K4 expression is required for optimal TNF-alpha action. These results reveal a MAP4K4/NIK-dependent signaling pathway that potently inhibits PPARgamma-responsive gene expression, adipogenesis, and insulin-stimulated glucose transport.
Project description:Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is characterized by lipid accumulation and liver injury. However, how chronic alcohol consumption causes hepatic lipid accumulation remains elusive. The present study demonstrates that activation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) plays a causal role in alcoholic steatosis, inflammation, and liver injury. Chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding led to hyperactivation of mTORC1, as evidenced by increased phosphorylation of mTOR and its downstream kinase S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) in hepatocytes. Aberrant activation of mTORC1 was likely attributed to the defects of the DEP domain-containing mTOR-interacting protein (DEPTOR) and the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) in the liver of chronic-plus-binge ethanol-fed mice and in the liver of patients with ALD. Conversely, adenoviral overexpression of hepatic DEPTOR suppressed mTORC1 signaling and ameliorated alcoholic hepatosteatosis, inflammation, and acute-on-chronic liver injury. Mechanistically, the lipid-lowering effect of hepatic DEPTOR was attributable to decreased proteolytic processing, nuclear translocation, and transcriptional activity of the lipogenic transcription factor sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1). DEPTOR-dependent inhibition of mTORC1 also attenuated alcohol-induced cytoplasmic accumulation of the lipogenic regulator lipin 1 and prevented alcohol-mediated inhibition of fatty acid oxidation. Pharmacological intervention with rapamycin alleviated the ability of alcohol to up-regulate lipogenesis, to down-regulate fatty acid oxidation, and to induce steatogenic phenotypes. Chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding led to activation of SREBP-1 and lipin 1 through S6K1-dependent and independent mechanisms. Furthermore, hepatocyte-specific deletion of SIRT1 disrupted DEPTOR function, enhanced mTORC1 activity, and exacerbated alcoholic fatty liver, inflammation, and liver injury in mice. CONCLUSION:The dysregulation of SIRT1-DEPTOR-mTORC1 signaling is a critical determinant of ALD pathology; targeting SIRT1 and DEPTOR and selectively inhibiting mTORC1-S6K1 signaling may have therapeutic potential for treating ALD in humans. (Hepatology 2018).
Project description:Lipogenesis is under the concerted action of ChREBP, SREBP-1c and other transcription factors in response to glucose and insulin. The isolated porcine preadipocytes were differentiated into mature adipocytes to investigate the roles and interrelation of these transcription factors in the context of glucose- and insulin-induced lipogenesis in pigs. In ChREBP-silenced adipocytes, glucose-induced lipogenesis decreased by ~70%, however insulin-induced lipogenesis was unaffected. Moreover, insulin had no effect on ChREBP expression of unperturbed adipocytes irrespective of glucose concentration, suggesting ChREBP mediate glucose-induced lipogenesis. Insulin stimulated SREBP-1c expression and when SREBP-1c activation was blocked, and the insulin-induced lipogenesis decreased by ~55%, suggesting SREBP-1c is a key transcription factor mediating insulin-induced lipogenesis. LXR? activation promoted lipogenesis and lipogenic genes expression. In ChREBP-silenced or SREBP-1c activation blocked adipocytes, LXR? activation facilitated lipogenesis and SREBP-1c expression, but had no effect on ChREBP expression. Therefore, LXR? might mediate lipogenesis via SREBP-1c rather than ChREBP. When ChREBP expression was silenced and SREBP-1c activation blocked simultaneously, glucose and insulin were still able to stimulated lipogenesis and lipogenic genes expression, and LXR? activation enhanced these effects, suggesting LXR? mediated directly glucose- and insulin-induced lipogenesis. In summary, glucose and insulin stimulated lipogenesis through both dissimilar and identical regulation pathway in porcine adipocytes.
Project description:Upon food intake, insulin stimulates de novo lipogenesis (DNL) in hepatocytes via the AKT-mTORC1-sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1c pathway. How insulin maintains the maximal SREBP-1c activities during the entire feeding state remains elusive. We previously reported that insulin induced b-ZIP transcription factor, E4-binding protein 4 (E4BP4), in hepatocytes. In the current study, we show that insulin injection increases hepatic E4bp4 expression by activating the AKT-mTORC1-SREBP-1c pathway in hepatocytes. E4bp4-deficient hepatocytes not only fail to maintain robust DNL but also become resistant to SREBP-1c-induced lipogenesis. In vivo, acute depletion of E4bp4 in the liver by adenoviral shRNA reduces the expression of lipogenic enzymes and results in reduced levels of serum triglycerides and cholesterol during the postprandial phase. In hepatocytes, E4BP4 interacts with nuclear SREBP-1c to preserve its acetylation, and subsequently protects it from ubiquitination-dependent degradation. In conclusion, the current studies uncover a novel positive feedback pathway mediated by E4BP4 to augment SREBP-1c-mediated DNL in the liver during the fed state.