Abstract 15783: Reduction in Hepatic Tristetraprolin Increases Oxidative Metabolism and Protects Against High-Fat Diet Induced Diabetes
Introduction: Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a growing health problem affecting over 29 million Americans and individuals with T2DM have increased mortality after myocardial infarction and stroke. Thus, it is imperative to find novel treatments for diabetes to offset the increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) related mortality. Tristetraprolin (TTP) is an mRNA binding protein first identified as an insulin responsive gene. It binds to AU-rich elements (AREs) in the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) of certain transcripts and promotes their degradation. Reduced TTP expression has been observed in human patients with obesity and insulin resistance, and computational analysis suggests that TTP may bind to and degrade the mRNA of key enzymes involved in glucose oxidation. Thus, we hypothesized that downregulation of TTP would increase glucose oxidation and protect against T2DM.
Results: We found hepatic expression of TTP to be decreased in diabetic mice. Using an in silico analysis to identify mRNAs that are targeted by TTP and play a role in glucose metabolism, we identified the pyruvate dehydrogenase-E2 subunit (PDH-E2) to contain several conserved TTP binding sites in its 3’ UTR. PDH-E2 expression was significantly increased (mRNA > 1.4-fold; protein > 2-fold) in hepatocytes isolated from liver-specific TTP knockout (KO) mice. Furthermore, measurement of PDH-E2 mRNA stability showed that PDH-E2 mRNA is significantly stabilized with TTP deletion, indicating that TTP regulates PDH-E2 mRNA. We then assessed whether the regulation of PDH-E2 by TTP alters glucose metabolism. Using Seahorse, we found a 1.7-fold increase in oxidative metabolism in TTP KO cells fed with glucose and pyruvate. This increase was reversed with siRNA mediated downregulation of PDH-E2. Systemically, liver-specific TTP KO mice fed a high-fat diet had significantly lower blood glucose levels after glucose tolerance tests and insulin tolerance tests.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that a decrease in TTP protects against the development of T2DM by increasing PDH-E2 expression and subsequent glucose oxidation in the liver. Together, these data provide a novel, potential therapeutic target for T2DM, a significant modifiable risk factor contributing to CVD mortality.
Author Disclosures: J.S. Shapiro: None. K.T. Sawicki: None. S. Yar: None. C. Chen: None. H. Ardehali: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.