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Lu J.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | Xie G.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Xie G.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Jia W.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers of Medicine in China | Year: 2013

Insulin resistance (IR) is a key pathological feature of metabolic syndrome and subsequently causes serious health problems with an increased risk of several common metabolic disorders. IR related metabolic disturbance is not restricted to carbohydrates but impacts global metabolic network. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), namely valine, leucine and isoleucine, are among the nine essential amino acids, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals. The BCAAs are particularly responsive to the inhibitory insulin action on amino acid release by skeletal muscle and their metabolism is profoundly altered in insulin resistant conditions and/or insulin deficiency. Although increased circulating BCAA concentration in insulin resistant conditions has been noted for many years and BCAAs have been reported to be involved in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and body weight, it is only recently that BCAAs are found to be closely associated with IR. This review will focus on the recent findings on BCAAs from both epidemic and mechanistic studies. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Lu J.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | Xie G.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Xie G.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Jia W.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers of Medicine in China | Year: 2013

The high prevalence of diabetes and diabetic complications has caused a huge burden on the modern society. Although scientific advances have led to effective strategies for preventing and treating diabetes over the past several decades, little progress has been made toward curing the disease or even getting it under control, from a public health and overall societal standpoint. There is still a lack of reliable biomarkers indicative of metabolic alterations associated with diabetes and different drug responses, highlighting the need for the development of early diagnostic and prognostic markers for diabetes and diabetic complications. The emergence of metabolomics has allowed researchers to systemically measure the small molecule metabolites, which are sensitive to the changes of both environmental and genetic factors and therefore, could be regarded as the link between genotypes and phenotypes. During the last decade, the progression made in metabolomics has provided insightful information on disease development and disease onset prediction. Recent studies using metabolomics approach coupled with statistical tools to predict incident diabetes revealed a number of metabolites that are significantly altered, including branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, such as isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine, as diagnostic or highly-significant predictors of future diabetes. This review summarizes the current findings of metabolomic studies in human investigations with the most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Chen F.,Nanjing Medical University | Zhu Y.,Nanjing Medical University | Tang X.,Nanjing Medical University | Sun Y.,Nanjing Medical University | And 2 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Transcription factors forkhead box (Fox)O1 and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX-1) are involved in dexamethasone (DEX)-induced dysfunction in pancreatic β-cells. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of FoxO1 and PDX-1 expression in β-cells treated with DEXisnot fully understood. In this study, we found that DEX markedly increased FoxO1 mRNA and protein expression, whereas it decreased PDX-1 mRNA and protein expression in a dose-and time-dependent manner. Further study showed that FoxA2 was involved in regulation of FoxO1 and PDX-1 expression in DEX-induced pancreatic β-cells dysfunction. Interestingly, we demonstrated for the first time that FoxA2 could bind to the FoxO1 gene promoter and positively regulate FoxO1 expression. Moreover, we found that DEX increased the activity of FoxA2 binding to the FoxO1 promoter but decreased the activity of FoxA2 binding to the PDX-1 promoter of RINm5F cells. Knockdown of FoxA2 by RNA interference inhibited FoxO1 expression and restored PDX-1 expression in pancreatic β-cells treated with DEX. However, DEX had no effect on the expression of FoxA2. Together, the results of the present study demonstrated that FoxA2 could dynamically regulate FoxO1 and PDX-1 expression in pancreatic β-cells treated with DEX, which provides new important information on the transcriptional regulation of FoxO1 and PDX-1 in DEX-induced pancreatic β-cells. Inhibition of FoxA2 can effectively protect β-cells against DEX-induced dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.


Li H.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Li H.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | Zhang J.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Zhang J.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers of Medicine in China | Year: 2013

Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a member of the fibroblast growth factor family. It actually functions as endocrine hormones but does not regulate cell growth and differentiation. It is demonstrated that FGF21 acts on multiple tissue to coordinate carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, including enhancing insulin sensitivity, decreasing triglyceride concentrations, causing weight loss, ameliorating obesity-associated hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Moreover, FGF21 also plays important roles in some physiological processes, such as fasting and feeding, growth hormone axis and thermogenic function of brown adipose tissue. Clinical relevance of FGF21 in humans is still unclear, and the basis and consequences of increased FGF21 in metabolic disease remain to be determined. Both the pharmacological actions and physiological roles make FGF21 attractive drug candidates for treating metabolic disease, but some questions remain to be answered. This article concentrates on recent advances in our understanding of FGF21. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Fang Q.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | Yang W.,Soochow University of China | Li H.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | Hu W.,Shanghai Diabetes Institute | And 9 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2014

Disulfide-bond A oxidoreductase-like protein (DsbA-L) possesses beneficial effects such as promoting adiponectin multimerization and stability, increasing insulin sensitivity, and enhancing energy metabolism. The expression level of DsbA-L is negatively correlated with obesity in mice and humans, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. To address this question, we generated reporter gene constructs containing the promoter sequence of the mouse DsbA-L gene. Deletion analysis showed that the proximal promoter of mouse DsbA-L is located between 2186 and 234 bp relative to the transcription start site. In silico analysis identified a putative Sp1 transcription factor binding site in the first intron of the DsbA-L gene. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that Sp1 bound to this intron region in vitro and in intact cells. Overexpression of Sp1 or suppressing Sp1 expression by siRNA reduced or increased DsbA-L promoter activity, respectively. The binding activity of Sp1 was gradually decreased during 3T3-L1 cell differentiation and was significantly increased in adipose tissues of obese mice. Our results identify Sp1 as an inhibitor of DsbA-L gene transcription, and the Sp1-mediated inhibition of DsbA-L gene expression may provide a mechanism underlying obesity-induced adiponectin downregulation and insulin resistance. © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.

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