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TMEM120A and B: Nuclear Envelope Transmembrane Proteins Important for Adipocyte Differentiation

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    Rights statement: Copyright: © 2015 Batrakou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127712
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0127712
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2015

Abstract

Recent work indicates that the nuclear envelope is a major signaling node for the cell that can influence tissue differentiation processes. Here we present two nuclear envelope trans-membrane proteins TMEM120A and TMEM120B that are paralogs encoded by the Tmem120A and Tmem120B genes. The TMEM120 proteins are expressed preferentially in fat and both are induced during 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. Knockdown of one or the other protein altered expression of several genes required for adipocyte differentiation, Gata3, Fasn, Glut4, while knockdown of both together additionally affected Pparg and Adipoq. The double knockdown also increased the strength of effects, reducing for example Glut4 levels by 95% compared to control 3T3-L1 cells upon pharmacologically induced differentiation. Accordingly, TMEM120A and B knockdown individually and together impacted on adipocyte differentiation/metabolism as measured by lipid accumulation through binding of Oil Red O and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy (CARS). The nuclear envelope is linked to several lipodystrophies through mutations in lamin A; however, lamin A is widely expressed. Thus it is possible that the TMEM120A and B fat-specific nuclear envelope transmembrane proteins may play a contributory role in the tissue-specific pathology of this disorder or in the wider problem of obesity.

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