SUMO-1 Regulates Body Weight and Adipogenesis via PPARγ in Male and Female Mice.
Properly functioning adipose tissue is essential for normal insulin sensitivity of the body. When mice are kept on high-fat diet (HFD), adipose tissue expands, adipocytes increase in size and number, and the mice become obese. Many of these changes are mediated by the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), the activity of which is regulated by multiple posttranslational modifications, including SUMOylation. To address the role of small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO-1) in PPARγ function in vivo, particularly in fat cell biology, we subjected Sumo1-knockout mice to HFD. Sumo1-null mice gained less weight and had smaller and fewer adipocytes in their gonadal fat tissue on HFD, but their glucose tolerance was similar to that of wild-type littermates. Adipogenesis was impaired in Sumo1-null cells, and expression of PPARγ target genes was attenuated. In addition, both Sumo1-null cells and Sumo1-null mice responded less efficiently to rosiglitazone, a PPARγ agonist. These findings indicate that SUMO-1 is important also for transcriptional activation by the PPARγ signaling pathway and not only for trans-repressive functions of PPARγ as previously reported.