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EMBO J. 2011 Sep 6;30(22):4678-91. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2011.320.

Obesity resistance and increased hepatic expression of catabolism-related mRNAs in Cnot3+/- mice.

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Division of Oncology, Department of Cancer Biology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Obesity is a life-threatening factor and is often associated with dysregulation of gene expression. Here, we show that the CNOT3 subunit of the CCR4-NOT deadenylase complex is critical to metabolic regulation. Cnot3(+/-) mice are lean with hepatic and adipose tissues containing reduced levels of lipids, and show increased metabolic rates and enhanced glucose tolerance. Cnot3(+/-) mice remain lean and sensitive to insulin even on a high-fat diet. Furthermore, introduction of Cnot3 haplodeficiency in ob/ob mice ameliorated the obese phenotype. Hepatic expression of most mRNAs is not altered in Cnot3(+/-) vis-à-vis wild-type mice. However, the levels of specific mRNAs, such as those coding for energy metabolism-related PDK4 and IGFBP1, are increased in Cnot3(+/-) hepatocytes, having poly(A) tails that are longer than those seen in control cells. We provide evidence that CNOT3 is involved in recruitment of the CCR4-NOT deadenylase to the 3' end of specific mRNAs. Finally, as CNOT3 levels in the liver and white adipose tissues decrease upon fasting, we propose that CNOT3 responds to feeding conditions to regulate deadenylation-specific mRNAs and energy metabolism.

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