Introduction: The mobilization and catabolism of lipid energy is a central function of adipocytes that is under the control of the β-adrenergic signaling pathway, and defects in β-adrenergic signaling in adipocytes have been linked to obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases. Receptor expression-enhancing proteins (REEPs) are endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteins that play critical roles in subcellular targeting of receptor signaling complexes. Examination of gene expression profiles indicates that, among REEPs expressed in adipocytes, REEP6 expression is uniquely upregulated by sympathetic nervous system activation, suggesting involvement in regulating adrenergic signal transduction. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the contribution of REEP6 to the thermogenic activation of adipocytes and characterize the metabolic consequences of REEP6 deficiency in vivo. Methods: Expression levels of Reep6 in adipose tissue were examined by using public transcriptomic data and validated by Western blot and qPCR analyses. Adipocyte-specific regulatory roles of REEP6 were investigated in vitro in C3H10T1/2 adipocytes and in primary adipocytes obtained from REEP6 KO mice. Effects of in vivo REEP6 deficiency on energy expenditure were measured by indirect calorimetry. Mitochondrial content in adipose tissue was accessed by immunoblot, mitochondrial DNA analysis, and confocal and electron microscopy. Effects of REEP6 KO on obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction were tested in a high-fat diet-induced obesity mouse model by glucose tolerance test, Western blot, and histological analyses. Results: REEP6 expression is highly enriched in murine adipocytes and is sharply upregulated upon adipocyte differentiation and by cold exposure. Inactivation of REEP6 in mice increased adiposity, and reduced energy expenditure and cold tolerance. REEP6 KO severely reduced protein kinase A-mediated signaling in BAT and greatly reduced mitochondrial mass. The effect of REEP6 inactivation on diminished β-adrenergic signaling was reproduced in cultured adipocytes, indicating that this effect is cell-autonomous. REEP6 KO also suppressed expression of adenylate cyclase 3 (Adcy3) in brown adipose tissue and knockdown of REEP6 in adipocytes reduced targeting of ADCY3 to the plasma membrane. Lastly, REEP6 KO exacerbated high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance and inflammation in adipose tissue. Conclusions: This study indicates that REEP6 plays an important role in β-adrenergic signal transduction in adipocytes involving the expression and trafficking of Adcy3. Genetic inactivation of REEP6 reduces energy expenditure, increases adiposity, and the susceptibility to obesity-related metabolic dysfunction.
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© 2022 The Authors
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism