How the nuclear receptor PPARγ regulates the development of two functionally distinct types of adipose tissue, brown and white fat, as well as the browning of white fat, remains unclear. Our previous studies suggest that PexRAP, a peroxisomal lipid synthetic enzyme, regulates PPARγ signaling and white adipogenesis. Here, we show that PexRAP is an inhibitor of brown adipocyte gene expression. PexRAP inactivation promoted adipocyte browning, increased energy expenditure, and decreased adiposity. Identification of PexRAP-interacting proteins suggests that PexRAP function extends beyond its role as a lipid synthetic enzyme. Notably, PexRAP interacts with importin-β1, a nuclear import factor, and knockdown of PexRAP in adipocytes reduced the levels of nuclear phospholipids. PexRAP also interacts with PPARγ, as well as PRDM16, a critical transcriptional regulator of thermogenesis, and disrupts the PRDM16-PPARγ complex, providing a potential mechanism for PexRAP-mediated inhibition of adipocyte browning. These results identify PexRAP as an important regulator of adipose tissue remodeling.
Keywords: PPARγ; PRDM16; UCP1; adipocyte browning; adipose tissue; beige fat; obesity.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.