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J Biol Chem. 2012 Mar 2;287(10):7213-23. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.286724. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) regulates body fat and glucose homeostasis by modulating nutrient sensing pathways and mitochondrial energy expenditure.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


Body fat, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes are often linked together, but the molecular mechanisms that unify their association are poorly understood. Wnt signaling regulates adipogenesis, and its altered activity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. LRP6(+/-) mice on a high fat diet were protected against diet-induced obesity and hepatic and adipose tissue insulin resistance compared with their wild-type (WT) littermates. Brown adipose tissue insulin sensitivity and reduced adiposity of LRP6(+/-) mice were accounted for by diminished Wnt-dependent mTORC1 activity and enhanced expression of brown adipose tissue PGC1-α and UCP1. LRP6(+/-) mice also exhibited reduced endogenous hepatic glucose output, which was due to diminished FoxO1-dependent expression of the key gluconeogenic enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase (G6pase). In addition, in vivo and in vitro studies showed that loss of LRP6 allele is associated with increased leptin receptor expression, which is a likely cause of hepatic insulin sensitivity in LRP6(+/-) mice. Our study identifies LRP6 as a nutrient-sensitive regulator of body weight and glucose metabolism and as a potential target for pharmacological interventions in obesity and diabetes.

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