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J Biol Chem. 2006 Jul 14;281(28):18989-99. Epub 2006 May 2.

The alternative stimulatory G protein alpha-subunit XLalphas is a critical regulator of energy and glucose metabolism and sympathetic nerve activity in adult mice.

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Metabolic Diseases Branch, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The complex imprinted Gnas locus encodes several gene products including G(s)alpha, the ubiquitously expressed G protein alpha-subunit required for receptor-stimulated cAMP generation, and the neuroendocrine-specific G(s)alpha isoform XLalphas. XLalphas is only expressed from the paternal allele, whereas G(s)alpha is biallelically expressed in most tissues. XLalphas knock-out mice (Gnasxl(m+/p-)) have poor suckling and perinatal lethality, implicating XLalphas as critical for postnatal feeding. We have now examined the metabolic phenotype of adult Gnasxl(m+/p-) mice. Gnasxl(m+/p-) mice had reduced fat mass and lipid accumulation in adipose tissue, with increased food intake and metabolic rates. Gene expression profiling was consistent with increased lipid metabolism in adipose tissue. These changes likely result from increased sympathetic nervous system activity rather than adipose cell-autonomous effects, as we found that XLalphas is not normally expressed in adult adipose tissue, and Gnasxl(m+/p-) mice had increased urinary norepinephrine levels but not increased metabolic responsiveness to a beta3-adrenergic agonist. Gnasxl(m+/p-) mice were hypolipidemic and had increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The similar metabolic profile observed in some prior paternal Gnas knock-out models results from XLalphas deficiency (or deficiency of the related alternative truncated protein XLN1). XLalphas (or XLN1) is a negative regulator of sympathetic nervous system activity in mice.

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