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Adrenergic-Independent Signaling via CHRNA2 Regulates Beige Fat Activation.

Developmental cell (2020-06-14)
Heejin Jun, Yingxu Ma, Yong Chen, Jianke Gong, Shanshan Liu, Jine Wang, Alexander J Knights, Xiaona Qiao, Margo P Emont, X Z Shawn Xu, Shingo Kajimura, Jun Wu
ABSTRACT

Maintaining energy homeostasis upon environmental challenges, such as cold or excess calorie intake, is essential to the fitness and survival of mammals. Drug discovery efforts targeting β-adrenergic signaling have not been fruitful after decades of intensive research. We recently identified a new beige fat regulatory pathway mediated via the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit CHRNA2. Here, we generated fat-specific Chrna2 KO mice and observed thermogenic defects in cold and metabolic dysfunction upon dietary challenges caused by adipocyte-autonomous regulation in vivo. We found that CHRNA2 signaling is activated after acute high fat diet feeding and this effect is manifested through both UCP1- and creatine-mediated mechanisms. Furthermore, our data suggested that CHRNA2 signaling may activate glycolytic beige fat, a subpopulation of beige adipocytes mediated by GABPα emerging in the absence of β-adrenergic signaling. These findings reveal the biological significance of the CHRNA2 pathway in beige fat biogenesis and energy homeostasis.

MATERIALS
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