Brown adipose tissue (BAT) oxidizes chemical energy for heat generation and energy expenditure. Promoting brown-like transformation in white adipose tissue (WAT) is a promising strategy to combat obesity. Here, we find that targeted deletion of KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP), an RNA-binding protein that regulates gene expression at multiple levels, causes a reduction in body adiposity. Expression of brown fat-selective genes is increased in subcutaneous/inguinal WAT (iWAT) of Ksrp-/- mice due to elevated expression of PRDM16 and PPARGC1α, key regulators promoting brown fat gene program. Expression of miR-150 in iWAT is decreased due to impaired pri-miR-150 processing in the absence of KSRP. We show that miR-150 directly targets and represses Prdm16 and Ppargc1a and forced expression of miR-150 attenuates the elevated expression of brown fat genes caused by KSRP deletion. This study reveals the in vivo function of KSRP in controlling brown-like transformation of iWAT through post-transcriptional regulation of miR-150 expression.
- Received December 17, 2013.
- Accepted April 3, 2014.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
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