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J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 29;287(27):23141-51. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.335877. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

Catestatin (chromogranin A(352-372)) and novel effects on mobilization of fat from adipose tissue through regulation of adrenergic and leptin signaling.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California 92161, USA.


Chromogranin A knock-out (Chga-KO) mice display increased adiposity despite high levels of circulating catecholamines and leptin. Consistent with diet-induced obese mice, desensitization of leptin receptors caused by hyperleptinemia is believed to contribute to the obese phenotype of these KO mice. In contrast, obesity in ob/ob mice is caused by leptin deficiency. To characterize the metabolic phenotype, Chga-KO mice were treated with the CHGA-derived peptide catestatin (CST) that is deficient in these mice. CST treatment reduced fat depot size and increased lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation. In liver, CST enhanced oxidation of fatty acids as well as their assimilation into lipids, effects that are attributable to the up-regulation of genes promoting fatty acid oxidation (Cpt1α, Pparα, Acox, and Ucp2) and incorporation into lipids (Gpat and CD36). CST did not affect basal or isoproterenol-stimulated cAMP production in adipocytes but inhibited phospholipase C activation by the α-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonist phenylephrine, suggesting inhibition of α-AR signaling by CST. Indeed, CST mimicked the lipolytic effect of the α-AR blocker phentolamine on adipocytes. Moreover, CST reversed the hyperleptinemia of Chga-KO mice and improved leptin signaling as determined by phosphorylation of AMPK and Stat3. CST also improved peripheral leptin sensitivity in diet-induced obese mice. In ob/ob mice, CST enhanced leptin-induced signaling in adipose tissue. In conclusion, our results implicate CST in a novel pathway that promotes lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation by blocking α-AR signaling as well as by enhancing leptin receptor signaling.

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