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Journal Article

The obesity-susceptibility gene TMEM18 promotes adipogenesis through activation of PPARG

MPS-Authors
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Witte,  A. Veronica
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Beyer,  Frauke
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Landgraf_2020.pdf
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Citation

Landgraf, K., Klöting, N., Gericke, M., Maixner, N., Guiu-Jurado, E., Scholz, M., et al. (2020). The obesity-susceptibility gene TMEM18 promotes adipogenesis through activation of PPARG. Cell Reports, 33(3): 108295. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108295.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4C8D-6
Abstract
TMEM18 is the strongest candidate for childhood obesity identified from GWASs, yet as for most GWAS-derived obesity-susceptibility genes, the functional mechanism remains elusive. We here investigate the relevance of TMEM18 for adipose tissue development and obesity. We demonstrate that adipocyte TMEM18 expression is downregulated in children with obesity. Functionally, downregulation of TMEM18 impairs adipocyte formation in zebrafish and in human preadipocytes, indicating that TMEM18 is important for adipocyte differentiation in vivo and in vitro. On the molecular level, TMEM18 activates PPARG, particularly upregulating PPARG1 promoter activity, and this activation is repressed by inflammatory stimuli. The relationship between TMEM18 and PPARG1 is also evident in adipocytes of children and is clinically associated with obesity and adipocyte hypertrophy, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Our findings indicate a role of TMEM18 as an upstream regulator of PPARG signaling driving healthy adipogenesis, which is dysregulated with adipose tissue dysfunction and obesity.