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FEBS Lett. 2012 May 7;586(9):1300-5. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.03.032. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

Ceramide kinase deficiency improves diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.

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Laboratory of Biomembrane and Biofunctional Chemistry, Faculty of Advanced Life Sciences, Hokkaido University, Japan.


Ceramide kinase (CERK) is an enzyme that phosphorylates ceramide to produce ceramide 1-phosphate. Recently, evidence has emerged that CERK has a role in inflammatory signaling of immune cells. Since obesity is accompanied by chronic, low-grade inflammation, we examined whether CERK might be involved using CERK-null mice. We determined that CERK deficiency suppresses diet-induced increases in body weight, and improves glucose intolerance. Furthermore, we demonstrated that CERK deficiency attenuates MCP-1/CCR2 signaling in macrophages infiltrating the adipose tissue, resulting in the suppression of inflammation in adipocytes, which might otherwise lead to obesity and diabetes.

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