Extensive metabolic remodeling after limiting mitochondrial lipid burden is consistent with an improved metabolic health profile

J Biol Chem. 2019 Aug 16;294(33):12313-12327. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.006074. Epub 2019 May 16.


Mitochondrial lipid overload in skeletal muscle contributes to insulin resistance, and strategies limiting this lipid pressure improve glucose homeostasis; however, comprehensive cellular adaptations that occur in response to such an intervention have not been reported. Herein, mice with skeletal muscle-specific deletion of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1b (Cpt1bM-/-), which limits mitochondrial lipid entry, were fed a moderate fat (25%) diet, and samples were subjected to a multimodal analysis merging transcriptomics, proteomics, and nontargeted metabolomics to characterize the coordinated multilevel cellular responses that occur when mitochondrial lipid burden is mitigated. Limiting mitochondrial fat entry predictably improves glucose homeostasis; however, remodeling of glucose metabolism pathways pales compared with adaptations in amino acid and lipid metabolism pathways, shifts in nucleotide metabolites, and biogenesis of mitochondria and peroxisomes. Despite impaired fat utilization, Cpt1bM-/- mice have increased acetyl-CoA (14-fold) and NADH (2-fold), indicating metabolic shifts yield sufficient precursors to meet energy demand; however, this does not translate to enhance energy status as Cpt1bM-/- mice have low ATP and high AMP levels, signifying energy deficit. Comparative analysis of transcriptomic data with disease-associated gene-sets not only predicted reduced risk of glucose metabolism disorders but was also consistent with lower risk for hepatic steatosis, cardiac hypertrophy, and premature death. Collectively, these results suggest induction of metabolic inefficiency under conditions of energy surfeit likely contributes to improvements in metabolic health when mitochondrial lipid burden is mitigated. Moreover, the breadth of disease states to which mechanisms induced by muscle-specific Cpt1b inhibition may mediate health benefits could be more extensive than previously predicted.

Keywords: fatty acid metabolism; genomics; glucose metabolism; lipid oxidation; metabolomics; mitochondria; peroxisome; proteomics; skeletal muscle metabolism; systems biology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / genetics
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / genetics
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / deficiency*
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / genetics
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism*
  • NAD / genetics
  • NAD / metabolism


  • NAD
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • CPT1B protein, mouse
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.5695474
  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.5695444