Research ArticleMetabolism

TFEB drives PGC-1α expression in adipocytes to protect against diet-induced metabolic dysfunction

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Science Signaling  05 Nov 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 606, eaau2281
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aau2281

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Browning fat with TFEB

TFEB is a transcription factor best known for its role in transcriptionally activating genes encoding autophagy factors. Evans et al. found that mice overexpressing TFEB in adipocytes were protected from the adverse metabolic consequences of a high-fat diet. TFEB promoted adipose tissue browning, a process in which white adipose tissue acquires the energy-burning properties of brown adipose tissue, through the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α, rather than the induction of autophagy genes. These results suggest that increasing TFEB expression in adipocytes could be a therapeutic strategy to stave the metabolic dysfunction caused by a high-fat diet.

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