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Article

Suppression of Brown Adipocyte Autophagy Improves Energy Metabolism by Regulating Mitochondrial Turnover

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
2
Bio-Medical Institute of Technology (BMIT), University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
3
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
4
Asan Institute for Life Sciences, Asan Medical Center, Seoul 05505, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3520; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20143520
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
The high abundance of mitochondria and the expression of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) confer upon brown adipose tissue (BAT) the unique capacity to convert chemical energy into heat at the expense of ATP synthesis. It was long believed that BAT is present only in infants, and so, it was not considered as a potential therapeutic target for metabolic syndrome; however, the discovery of metabolically active BAT in adult humans has re-stimulated interest in the contributions of BAT metabolic regulation and dysfunction to health and disease. Here we demonstrate that brown adipocyte autophagy plays a critical role in the regulation BAT activity and systemic energy metabolism. Mice deficient in brown adipocyte autophagy due to BAT-specific deletion of Atg7—a gene essential for autophagosome generation—maintained higher mitochondrial content due to suppression of mitochondrial clearance and exhibited improved insulin sensitivity and energy metabolism. Autophagy was upregulated in BAT of older mice compared to younger mice, suggesting its involvement in the age-dependent decline of BAT activity and metabolic rate. These findings suggest that brown adipocyte autophagy plays a crucial role in metabolism and that targeting this pathway may be a potential therapeutic strategy for metabolic syndrome. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; brown adipose tissues; mitophagy; energy homeostasis; aging autophagy; brown adipose tissues; mitophagy; energy homeostasis; aging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, D.; Kim, J.-H.; Kang, Y.-H.; Kim, J.S.; Yun, S.-C.; Kang, S.-W.; Song, Y. Suppression of Brown Adipocyte Autophagy Improves Energy Metabolism by Regulating Mitochondrial Turnover. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3520. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20143520

AMA Style

Kim D, Kim J-H, Kang Y-H, Kim JS, Yun S-C, Kang S-W, Song Y. Suppression of Brown Adipocyte Autophagy Improves Energy Metabolism by Regulating Mitochondrial Turnover. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(14):3520. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20143520

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kim, Donghwan, Ji-Hye Kim, Young-Ho Kang, Je S. Kim, Sung-Cheol Yun, Sang-Wook Kang, and Youngsup Song. 2019. "Suppression of Brown Adipocyte Autophagy Improves Energy Metabolism by Regulating Mitochondrial Turnover" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 14: 3520. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20143520

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