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J Biol Chem. 2016 Apr 1;291(14):7754-66. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.673756. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

Increased Energy Expenditure, Ucp1 Expression, and Resistance to Diet-induced Obesity in Mice Lacking Nuclear Factor-Erythroid-2-related Transcription Factor-2 (Nrf2).

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From the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and.
the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine, California 92697 and.
the Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California 94107.
From the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and


The NRF2 (also known as NFE2L2) transcription factor is a critical regulator of genes involved in defense against oxidative stress. Previous studies suggest thatNrf2plays a role in adipogenesisin vitro, and deletion of theNrf2gene protects against diet-induced obesity in mice. Here, we demonstrate that resistance to diet-induced obesity inNrf2(-/-)mice is associated with a 20-30% increase in energy expenditure. Analysis of bioenergetics revealed thatNrf2(-/-)white adipose tissues exhibit greater oxygen consumption. White adipose tissue showed a >2-fold increase inUcp1gene expression. Oxygen consumption is also increased nearly 2.5-fold inNrf2-deficient fibroblasts. Oxidative stress induced by glucose oxidase resulted in increasedUcp1expression. Conversely, antioxidant chemicals (such asN-acetylcysteine and Mn(III)tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin chloride) and SB203580 (a known suppressor ofUcp1expression) decreasedUcp1and oxygen consumption inNrf2-deficient fibroblasts. These findings suggest that increasing oxidative stress by limitingNrf2function in white adipocytes may be a novel means to modulate energy balance as a treatment of obesity and related clinical disorders.


adipose tissue; antioxidant; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species (ROS); uncoupling protein

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