• Yan, Shuai, Anna Santoro, Micah J. Niphakis, Antonio M. Pinto, Christopher L. Jacobs, Rasheed Ahmad, Radu M. Suciu, et al. 2023. “Inflammation causes insulin resistance via interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3)-mediated reduction in FAHFA levels”. BioRxiv. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
    Obesity-induced inflammation causes metabolic dysfunction, but the mechanisms remain elusive. Here we show that the innate immune transcription factor interferon regulatory factor (IRF3) adversely affects glucose homeostasis through induction of the endogenous FAHFA hydrolase androgen induced gene 1 (AIG1) in adipocytes. Adipocyte-specific knockout of IRF3 protects mice against high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance, whereas overexpression of IRF3 or AIG1 in adipocytes promotes insulin resistance on a high-fat diet. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of AIG1 reversed obesity-induced insulin resistance and restored glucose homeostasis in the setting of adipocyte IRF3 overexpression. We, therefore, identify the adipocyte IRF3/AIG1 axis as a crucial link between obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance and suggest an approach for limiting the metabolic dysfunction accompanying obesity.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.
  • Kim, Kyungchan, Jamie Wann, Hyeong-Geug Kim, Jisun So, Evan D. Rosen, and Hyun Cheol Roh. 2023. “Uncoupling protein 1-driven Cre (Ucp1-Cre) is expressed in the epithelial cells of mammary glands and various non-adipose tissues”. BioRxiv. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
    Objective Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a mitochondrial protein responsible for nonshivering thermogenesis in adipose tissue, serves as a distinct marker for thermogenic brown and beige adipocytes. Ucp1-Cre mice are thus widely used to genetically manipulate these thermogenic adipocytes. However, evidence suggests that UCP1 may also be expressed in non-adipocyte cell types. In this study, we investigated the presence of UCP1 expression in different mouse tissues that have not been previously reported.Methods We employed Ucp1-Cre mice crossed with Cre-inducible transgenic reporter Nuclear tagging and Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification (NuTRAP) mice, to investigate Ucp1-Cre expression in various tissues of adult female mice and developing embryos. Tamoxifen-inducible Ucp1-CreERT2 mice crossed with NuTRAP mice were used to assess active UCP1 expression. Immunostaining, RNA analysis, and single-cell/nucleus RNA-seq (sc/snRNA-seq) data analysis were performed to determine the expression of endogenous UCP1 and Ucp1-Cre-driven reporter expression. We also investigated the impact of UCP1 deficiency on mammary gland development and function using Ucp1-knockout (KO) mice.Results Ucp1-Cre expression was observed in the mammary glands within the inguinal white adipose tissue of female Ucp1-Cre; NuTRAP mice. However, endogenous Ucp1 was not actively expressed as Ucp1-CreERT2 failed to induce the reporter expression in the mammary glands. Ucp1-Cre was activated during embryonic development in various tissues, including mammary glands, as well as in the brain, kidneys, eyes, and ears, specifically in epithelial cells in these organs. While sc/snRNA-seq data suggest potential expression of UCP1 in mammary epithelial cells in adult mice and humans, Ucp1-KO female mice displayed normal mammary gland development and function.Conclusions Our findings reveal widespread Ucp1-Cre expression in various non-adipose tissue types, starting during early development. These results highlight the importance of exercising caution when interpreting data and devising experiments involving Ucp1-Cre mice.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.WATWhite adipose tissueBATBrown adipose tissueUCP1Uncoupling protein 1iWATInguinal white adipose tissueKOKnockoutsc/snRNA-seqSingle-cell/nucleus RNA-seqNuTRAPNuclear tagging and Translating Ribosome Affinity PurificationE13.5Embryonic day 13.5E16.5Embryonic day 16.5
  • Heyward, Frankie D., Nan Liu, Christopher Jacobs, Rachael Ivison, Natalia Machado, Aykut Uner, Harini Srinivasan, et al. 2022. “Integrated genomic analysis of AgRP neurons reveals that IRF3 regulates leptin’s hunger-suppressing effects”. BioRxiv. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
    AgRP neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) coordinate homeostatic changes in appetite associated with fluctuations in food availability and leptin signaling. Identifying the relevant transcriptional regulatory pathways in these neurons has been a priority, yet such attempts have been stymied due to their low abundance and the rich cellular diversity of the ARC. Here we generated AgRP neuron-specific transcriptomic and chromatin accessibility profiles during opposing states of fasting-induced hunger and leptin-induced hunger suppression. Cis-regulatory analysis of these integrated datasets enabled the identification of 28 putative hunger-promoting and 29 putative hunger-suppressing transcriptional regulators in AgRP neurons, 16 of which were predicted to be transcriptional effectors of leptin. Within our dataset, Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) emerged as a leading candidate mediator of leptin-induced hunger-suppression. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments in vivo confirm the role of IRF3 in mediating the acute satiety-evoking effects of leptin in AgRP neurons, while live-cell imaging in vitro indicate that leptin can activate neuronal IRF3 in a cell autonomous manner. Finally, we employ CUT&RUN to uncover direct transcriptional targets of IRF3 in AgRP neurons in vivo. Thus, our findings identify AgRP neuron-expressed IRF3 as a key transcriptional effector of the hunger-suppressing effects of leptin.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.