β-adrenergic receptor signaling evokes the PKA-ASK axis in mature brown adipocytes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kazuki HattoriH. Ichijo

Abstract

Boosting energy expenditure by harnessing the activity of brown adipocytes is a promising strategy for combatting the global epidemic of obesity. Many studies have revealed that the {beta}3-adrenergic receptor agonist is a potent activator of brown adipocytes, even in humans, and PKA and p38 MAPK have been demonstrated for regulating the transcription of a wide range of critical genes such as Ucp1. We previously revealed that the PKA-ASK1-p38 axis is activated in immature brown adipocytes and contributes to functional maturation. However, the downstream mechanisms of PKA that initiate the p38 MAPK cascade are still mostly unknown in mature brown adipocytes. Here, we identified the ASK family as a crucial signaling molecule bridging PKA and MAPK in mature brown adipocytes. Mechanistically, the phosphorylation of ASK1 at threonine 99 and serine 993 is critical in PKA-dependent ASK1 activation. Additionally, PKA also activates ASK2, which contributes to MAPK regulation. These lines of evidence provide new details for tailoring a {beta}AR-dependent brown adipocyte activation strategy.

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