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Pharmacology. 2018;101(1-2):64-71. doi: 10.1159/000480405. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Hypoxic Stress Upregulates the Expression of Slc38a1 in Brown Adipocytes via Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University Graduate School, Kanazawa, Japan.


The availability of amino acid in the brown adipose tissue (BAT) has been shown to be altered under various conditions; however, little is known about the possible expression and pivotal role of amino acid transporters in BAT under physiological and pathological conditions. The present study comprehensively investigated whether amino acid transporters are regulated by obesogenic conditions in BAT in vivo. Moreover, we investigated the mechanism underlying the regulation of the expression of amino acid transporters by various stressors in brown adipocytes in vitro. The expression of solute carrier family 38 member 1 (Slc38a1; gene encoding sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter 1) was preferentially upregulated in the BAT of both genetic and acquired obesity mice in vivo. Moreover, the expression of Slc38a1 was induced by hypoxic stress through hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, which is a master transcription factor of the adaptive response to hypoxic stress, in brown adipocytes in vitro. These results indicate that Slc38a1 is an obesity-associated gene in BAT and a hypoxia-responsive gene in brown adipocytes.


Amino acid; Brown adipose tissue; Hypoxic stress

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