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Lai Jin, Chuanhua Li, Rong Li, Zongxing Sun, Xianjun Fang and Shengnan Li

Peripheral corticotropin-releasing hormone receptors (CRHRs) are G protein-coupled receptors that play different roles depending on tissue types. Previously, we discovered the mechanism of CRHR-mediated apoptosis of mouse prostate cancer cell line (RM-1) to be a change of Bcl-2:Bax ratio, and CRH was found to inhibit transforming growth factor β migration of breast cancer cells via CRHRs. In the present study, we investigated cytosolic calcium-dependent phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) bridging CRHR activations and Bcl-2:Bax ratio and the effect of CRHR activation on cell migration. Silencing of cPLA2 attenuated a CRHR1 agonist, CRH-induced apoptosis, and the decrease of the Bcl-2:Bax ratio, whereas silencing of cPLA2 aggravated CRHR2 agonist, Urocortin 2 (Ucn2)-inhibited apoptosis, and the increase of the Bcl-2:Bax ratio. CRH in a time- and concentration-dependent manner increased cPLA2 expression mainly through interleukin 1β (IL1β) upregulation. Ucn2 decreased cPLA2 expression through neither tumor necrosis factor α nor IL1β. CRH-suppressed decay of cPLA2 mRNA and Ucn2 merely suppressed its production. Overexpression of CRHR1 or CRHR2 in HEK293 cells correspondingly upregulated or downregulated cPLA2 expression after CRH or Ucn2 stimulation respectively. In addition, both CRH and Ucn2 induced migration of RM-1 cells. Our observation not only established a relationship between CRHRs and cell migration but also for the first time, to our knowledge, demonstrated that cPLA2 participates in CRHR1-induced apoptosis and CRHR2-inhibited apoptosis.

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Huixia Li, Zhuanmin Zhang, Dongxu Feng, Lin Xu, Fang Li, Jiali Liu, Xinxin Jin, Zhuang Qian, Xiaomin Kang and Hongzhi Sun

Progranulin (PGRN), a multifunctional protein implicated in embryonic development and immune response, was recently introduced as a novel marker of chronic inflammation related with insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the potential mechanisms of PGRN on insulin signaling pathways are poorly understood. In this study, PGRN mediated the chemotaxis of RAW264.7, impaired insulin action and stimulated production of inflammatory factors in adipocytes, which was accompanied by increased c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and serine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1. PGRN knockdown partially led to an increase in insulin action as well as a decrease in the JNK activation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in cells exposed to tumor-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Meanwhile, PGRN treatment resulted in an elevation of transcription factor nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) nuclear translocation and acetylation, and increased Il-1b, Il6, Tnf-a expression, whereas NF-κB inhibition reversed PGRN-induced insulin action impairment and inflammatory gene expression. Finally, we showed that sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression was downregulated by PGRN treatment, whereas SIRT1 overexpression improved PGRN-induced insulin resistance, NF-κB activation, and inflammatory gene expression. Our results suggest that PGRN regulates adipose tissue inflammation possibly by controlling the gain of proinflammatory transcription in a SIRT1-NF-κB dependent manner in response to inducers such as fatty acids and endoplasmic reticulum stress.

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Juan Liu, Xiaocen Kong, Long Wang, Hanmei Qi, Wenjuan Di, Xiao Zhang, Lin Wu, Xia Chen, Jing Yu, Juanmin Zha, Shan Lv, Aisen Zhang, Peng Cheng, Miao Hu, Yujie Li, Jianhua Bi, Yan Li, Fang Hu, Yi Zhong, Yong Xu and Guoxian Ding

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) increases energy expenditure and is an attractive therapeutic target for obesity. 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), an amplifier of local glucocorticoid activity, has been shown to modulate white adipose tissue (WAT) metabolism and function. In this study, we investigated the roles of 11β-HSD1 in regulating BAT function. We observed a significant increase in the expression of BAT-specific genes, including UCP1, Cidea, Cox7a1, and Cox8b, in BVT.2733 (a selective inhibitor of 11β-HSD1)-treated and 11β-HSD1-deficient primary brown adipocytes of mice. By contrast, a remarkable decrease in BAT-specific gene expression was detected in brown adipocytes when 11β-HSD1 was overexpressed, which effect was reversed by BVT.2733 treatment. Consistent with the in vitro results, expression of a range of genes related to brown fat function in high-fat diet-fed mice treated with BVT.2733. Our results indicate that 11β-HSD1 acts as a vital regulator that controls the expression of genes related to brown fat function and as such may become a potential target in preventing obesity.