The human type 2 diabetes-specific visceral adipose tissue proteome and transcriptome in obesity

Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 30;11(1):17394. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-96995-0.


Dysfunctional visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes (DM) but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Our objective in this discovery analysis was to identify genes and proteins regulated by DM to elucidate aberrant cellular metabolic and signaling mediators. We performed label-free proteomics and RNA-sequencing analysis of VAT from female bariatric surgery subjects with DM and without DM (NDM). We quantified 1965 protein groups, 23 proteins, and 372 genes that were differently abundant in DM vs. NDM VAT. Proteins downregulated in DM were related to fatty acid synthesis and mitochondrial function (fatty acid synthase, FASN; dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, mitochondrial, E3 component, DLD; succinate dehydrogenase-α, SDHA) while proteins upregulated in DM were associated with innate immunity and transcriptional regulation (vitronectin, VTN; endothelial protein C receptor, EPCR; signal transducer and activator of transcription 5B, STAT5B). Transcriptome indicated defects in innate inflammation, lipid metabolism, and extracellular matrix (ECM) function, and components of complement classical and alternative cascades. The VAT proteome and transcriptome shared 13 biological processes impacted by DM, related to complement activation, cell proliferation and migration, ECM organization, lipid metabolism, and gluconeogenesis. Our data revealed a marked effect of DM in downregulating FASN. We also demonstrate enrichment of complement factor B (CFB), coagulation factor XIII A chain (F13A1), thrombospondin 1 (THBS1), and integrins at mRNA and protein levels, albeit with lower q-values and lack of Western blot or PCR confirmation. Our findings suggest putative mechanisms of VAT dysfunction in DM.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Proteome