Functional in vivo interactions between JNK1 and JNK2 isoforms in obesity and insulin resistance

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jul 11;103(28):10741-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0603509103. Epub 2006 Jul 3.


The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are key regulators of inflammation and interfere with insulin action in cultured cells and whole animals. Obesity increases total JNK activity, and JNK1, but not JNK2, deficiency results in reduced adiposity and improved insulin sensitivity. Interestingly, a higher-than-normal level of JNK activation is observed in Jnk2(-/-) mice, particularly in the liver, indicating an interaction between the isoforms that might have masked the metabolic activity of JNK2 in isolated mutant mice. To address the role of the JNK2 isoform in metabolic homeostasis, we intercrossed Jnk1(-/-) and Jnk2(-/-) mice and examined body weight and glucose metabolism in the resulting mutant allele combinations. Among all of the viable genotypes examined, we observed only reduced body weight and increased insulin sensitivity in Jnk1(-/-) and Jnk1(+/-)Jnk2(-/-) mice. These two groups of mice also exhibited reduced total JNK activity and cytokine expression in liver tissue compared with all other genotypes examined. These data indicate that the JNK2 isoform is also involved in metabolic regulation, but its function is not obvious when JNK1 is fully expressed because of regulatory crosstalk between the two isoforms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Genetic Markers
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance* / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8 / deficiency
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8 / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8 / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 9 / deficiency
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 9 / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 9 / physiology*
  • Obesity / enzymology*
  • Obesity / genetics


  • Genetic Markers
  • Isoenzymes
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 9
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8
  • Glucose