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Autophagy

Berberine attenuates autophagy in adipocytes by targeting BECN1.


PMID 25126729

Abstract

The lysosomal degradation pathway, autophagy, is essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Recently, autophagy has been demonstrated to be required in the process of adipocyte conversion. However, its role in mature adipocytes under physiological and pathological conditions remains unclear. Here, we report a major function of BECN1 in the regulation of basal autophagy in mature adipocytes. We also show that berberine, a natural plant alkaloid, inhibits basal autophagy in adipocytes and adipose tissue of mice fed a high-fat diet via downregulation of BECN1 expression. We further demonstrate that berberine has a pronounced effect on the stability of Becn 1 mRNA through the Mir30 family. These findings explore the potential of BECN1 as a key molecule and a drug target for regulating autophagy in mature adipocytes.