Critical roles of nardilysin in the maintenance of body temperature homoeostasis

Nat Commun. 2014;5:3224. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4224.


Body temperature homoeostasis in mammals is governed centrally through the regulation of shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis and cutaneous vasomotion. Non-shivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) is mediated by sympathetic activation, followed by PGC-1α induction, which drives UCP1. Here we identify nardilysin (Nrd1 and NRDc) as a critical regulator of body temperature homoeostasis. Nrd1(-/-) mice show increased energy expenditure owing to enhanced BAT thermogenesis and hyperactivity. Despite these findings, Nrd1(-/-) mice show hypothermia and cold intolerance that are attributed to the lowered set point of body temperature, poor insulation and impaired cold-induced thermogenesis. Induction of β3-adrenergic receptor, PGC-1α and UCP1 in response to cold is severely impaired in the absence of NRDc. At the molecular level, NRDc and PGC-1α interact and co-localize at the UCP1 enhancer, where NRDc represses PGC-1α activity. These findings reveal a novel nuclear function of NRDc and provide important insights into the mechanism of thermoregulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Female
  • Hypothermia / genetics
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metalloendopeptidases / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Thermogenesis*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Uncoupling Protein 1


  • Ion Channels
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Ppargc1a protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ucp1 protein, mouse
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • nardilysin