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Diabetes. 2013 Jun;62(6):1855-64. doi: 10.2337/db12-1030. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Disruption of the cereblon gene enhances hepatic AMPK activity and prevents high-fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice.

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School of Life Sciences and Cell Dynamics Research Center and National Leading Research Laboratory for Ion Channels, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.


A nonsense mutation in cereblon (CRBN) causes a mild type of mental retardation in humans. An earlier study showed that CRBN negatively regulates the functional activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in vitro by binding directly to the α1-subunit of the AMPK complex. However, the in vivo role of CRBN was not studied. For elucidation of the physiological functions of Crbn, a mouse strain was generated in which the Crbn gene was deleted throughout the whole body. In Crbn-deficient mice fed a normal diet, AMPK in the liver showed hyperphosphorylation, which indicated the constitutive activation of AMPK. Since Crbn-deficient mice showed significantly less weight gain when fed a high-fat diet and their insulin sensitivity was considerably improved, the functions of Crbn in the liver were primarily investigated. These results provide the first in vivo evidence that Crbn is a negative modulator of AMPK, which suggests that Crbn may be a potential target for metabolic disorders of the liver.

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