Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
FASEB J. 2013 Apr;27(4):1371-80. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-221879. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Improved insulin sensitivity associated with reduced mitochondrial complex IV assembly and activity.

Author information

Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX78245, USA.


Mice lacking Surf1, a complex IV assembly protein, have ∼50-70% reduction in cytochrome c oxidase activity in all tissues yet a paradoxical increase in lifespan. Here we report that Surf1(-/-) mice have lower body (15%) and fat (20%) mass, in association with reduced lipid storage, smaller adipocytes, and elevated indicators of fatty acid oxidation in white adipose tissue (WAT) compared with control mice. The respiratory quotient in the Surf1(-/-) mice was significantly lower than in the control animals (0.83-0.93 vs. 0.90-0.98), consistent with enhanced fat utilization in Surf1(-/-) mice. Elevated fat utilization was associated with increased insulin sensitivity measured as insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, as well as an increase in insulin receptor levels (∼2-fold) and glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4; ∼1.3-fold) levels in WAT in the Surf1(-/-) mice. The expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ-coactivator 1-α (PGC-1α) mRNA and protein was up-regulated by 2.5- and 1.9-fold, respectively, in WAT from Surf1(-/-) mice, and the expression of PGC-1α target genes and markers of mitochondrial biogenesis was elevated. Together, these findings point to a novel and unexpected link between reduced mitochondrial complex IV activity, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and increased mitochondrial biogenesis that may contribute to the increased longevity in the Surf1(-/-) mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center