Role of IRS-3 in the insulin signaling of IRS-1-deficient brown adipocytes

Mónica Arribas, Angela M Valverde, Manuel Benito
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2003 November 14, 278 (46): 45189-99
Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) plays an essential role in mediating the insulin signals that trigger mitogenesis, lipid synthesis, and uncoupling protein-1 gene expression in mouse brown adipocytes. Expression of IRS-3 is restricted mainly to white adipose tissue; expression of this IRS protein is virtually absent in brown adipocytes. We have tested the capacity of IRS-3 to mediate insulin actions in IRS-1-deficient brown adipocytes. Thus, we expressed exogenous IRS-3 in immortalized IRS-1-/- brown adipocytes at a level comparable with that of endogenous IRS-3 in white adipose tissue. Under these conditions, IRS-3 signaling in response to insulin was observed, as revealed by tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-3, and the activation of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase associated with this recombinant protein. However, although insulin promoted the association of Grb-2 with recombinant IRS-3 in IRS-1-/- cells, the exogenous expression of this IRS family member failed to activate p42/44 MAPK and mitogenesis in brown adipocytes lacking IRS-1. Downstream of PI 3-kinase, IRS-3 expression restored insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation, which is impaired by the lack of IRS-1 signaling. Whereas the generation of IRS-3 signals enhanced adipocyte determination and differentiation-dependent factor 1/sterol regulatory element-binding protein (ADD-1/SREBP-1c) and fatty acid synthase mRNA and protein expression, activation of this pathway was unable to reconstitute CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha and uncoupling protein-1 transactivation and gene expression in response to insulin. Similar results were obtained following insulin-like growth factor-I stimulation. In brown adipocytes expressing the IRS-3F4 mutant, the association of the p85alpha regulatory subunit via Src homology 2 binding was lost, but insulin nevertheless induced PI 3-kinase activity and Akt phosphorylation in a wortmannin-dependent manner. In contrast, activation of IRS-3F4 signaling failed to restore the induction of ADD-1/SREBP-1c and fatty acid synthase gene expression in IRS-1-deficient brown adipocytes. These studies demonstrate that recombinant IRS-3 may reconstitute some, but not all, of the signals required for insulin action in brown adipocytes. Thus, our data further implicate a unique role for IRS-1 in triggering insulin action in brown adipocytes.

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