The Shc locus regulates insulin signaling and adiposity in mammals

Aging Cell. 2011 Feb;10(1):55-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2010.00641.x. Epub 2010 Nov 15.


Longevity of a p66Shc knockout strain (ShcP) was previously attributed to increased stress resistance and altered mitochondria. Microarrays of ShcP tissues indicated alterations in insulin signaling. Consistent with this observation, ShcP mice were more insulin sensitive and glucose tolerant at organismal and tissue levels, as was a novel p66Shc knockout (ShcL). Increasing and decreasing Shc expression in cell lines decreased and increased insulin sensitivity, respectively - consistent with p66Shc's function as a repressor of insulin signaling. However, differences between the two p66Shc knockout strains were also observed. ShcL mice were fatter and susceptible to fatty diets, and their fat was more insulin sensitive than controls. On the other hand, ShcP mice were leaner and resisted fatty diets, and their adipose was less insulin sensitive than controls. ShcL and ShcP strains are both highly inbred on the C57Bl/6 background, so we investigated gene expression at the Shc locus, which encodes three isoforms, p66, p52, and p46. Isoform p66 is absent in both strains; thus, the remaining difference to which to attribute the 'lean' phenotype is expression of the other two isoforms. ShcL mice have a precise deletion of p66Shc and normal expression of p52 and p46Shc isoforms in all tissues; thus, a simple deletion of p66Shc results in a 'fat' phenotype. However, ShcP mice in addition to p66Shc deletion have a fourfold increase in p46Shc expression in white fat. Thus, p46Shc overexpression in fat, rather than p66Shc deletion, is the likely cause of decreased adiposity and reduced insulin sensitivity in the fat of ShcP mice, which has implications for the longevity of the strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci / physiology
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics*
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins / genetics*
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Thinness / genetics
  • Thinness / metabolism


  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Shc1 protein, mouse
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Glucose