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  • Author: Hongzhi Sun x
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Bo Zhou, Huixia Li, Jiali Liu, Lin Xu, Qinyue Guo, Hongzhi Sun and Shufang Wu

Progranulin (PGRN) has recently emerged as an important regulator for insulin resistance. However, the direct effect of PGRN in vivo and the underlying role of progranulin in adipose insulin resistance involving the autophagy mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, mice treated with PGRN for 21 days exhibited the impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, remarkable adipose autophagy as well as attenuated insulin signaling via inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Furthermore, blockade of tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) by TNFR1BP-Fc injection resulted in the restoration of impaired insulin sensitivity and insulin signaling induced by PGRN. Consistent with these findings in vivo, PGRN treatment induced defective insulin signaling, abnormal autophagic and mitochondrial activity in cultured adipocytes, while such effects were nullified by the blockade of TNFR1. In addition, PGRN-deficient adipocytes were more refractory to tunicamycin- or dexamethasone-induced insulin resistance, indicating the causative role of the TNFR1 pathway in the action of PGRN. Collectively, our findings support the notion that PGRN is a key regulator of insulin resistance and that PGRN may mediate its effects, at least in part, by inducing autophagy via the TNFR1-dependent mechanism.

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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.