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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jul;295(1):E205-15. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.90316.2008. Epub 2008 May 20.

Wdnm1-like, a new adipokine with a role in MMP-2 activation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology and Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


White adipose tissue functions in energy storage and as an endocrine organ. DNA microarray analysis led us to identify Wdnm1-like, a distant member of the whey acidic protein/four-disulfide core (WAP/4-DSC) family, as a differentiation-dependent gene in white and brown adipogenesis. Wdnm1-like is a novel 6.8-kDa protein, and Western blot analysis reveals secretion into culture media. Wdnm1-like transcript is selectively expressed in adipose tissue and liver and is enriched approximately 500-fold in white adipose depots vs. brown. Cellular fractionation of WAT demonstrates Wdnm1-like transcript expression is restricted to the adipocyte population. Studies in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, an in vitro model of white adipogenesis, indicate Wdnm1-like transcript increases within 6 h of adipogenic induction with an approximately 17,000-fold increase by day 7. Dramatic upregulation of Wdnm1-like also accompanies white adipogenesis of ScAP-23 preadipocytes and primary preadipocytes. TNF-alpha treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes increased Wdnm1-like transcript level 2.4-fold and was attenuated by pretreatment with the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB203580. A number of WAP/4-DSC family proteins function as protease inhibitors. This, taken with the role of extracellular remodeling in adipogenesis, led us to address effects of Wdnm1-like on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. Gelatin zymography of HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells transfected with a Wdnm1-like expression construct revealed markedly increased levels of active MMP-2. Our findings identify a new member of the adipocyte "secretome" that functions to enhance MMP-2 activity. We postulate that Wdnm1-like may play roles in remodeling of the extracellular milieu in adipogenesis, as well as in tumor microenvironments where adipocytes are key stromal components.

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