Lipolysis regulates major transcriptional programs in brown adipocytes

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  • Lasse K. Markussen
  • Elizabeth A. Rondini
  • Olivia Sveidahl Johansen
  • Jesper G.S. Madsen
  • Elahu G. Sustarsic
  • Ann Britt Marcher
  • Hansen, Jacob B.
  • Gerhart-Hines, Zach
  • James G. Granneman
  • Susanne Mandrup

β-Adrenergic signaling is a core regulator of brown adipocyte function stimulating both lipolysis and transcription of thermogenic genes, thereby expanding the capacity for oxidative metabolism. We have used pharmacological inhibitors and a direct activator of lipolysis to acutely modulate the activity of lipases, thereby enabling us to uncover lipolysis-dependent signaling pathways downstream of β-adrenergic signaling in cultured brown adipocytes. Here we show that induction of lipolysis leads to acute induction of several gene programs and is required for transcriptional regulation by β-adrenergic signals. Using machine-learning algorithms to infer causal transcription factors, we show that PPARs are key mediators of lipolysis-induced activation of genes involved in lipid metabolism and thermogenesis. Importantly, however, lipolysis also activates the unfolded protein response and regulates the core circadian transcriptional machinery independently of PPARs. Our results demonstrate that lipolysis generates important metabolic signals that exert profound pleiotropic effects on transcription and function of cultured brown adipocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3956
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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