Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the human juxtaposed with another zinc finger protein 1 (JAZF1) gene have repeatedly been associated with both type 2 diabetes (T2D) and height in multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS); however, the mechanism by which JAZF1 causes these traits is not yet known. To investigate the possible functional role of JAZF1 in growth and glucose metabolism in vivo, we generated Jazf1 knockout (KO) mice and examined body composition and insulin sensitivity both in young and adult mice by using 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp techniques. Plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were reduced in both young and adult Jazf1 KO mice, and young Jazf1 KO mice were shorter in stature than age-matched wild-type mice. Young Jazf1 KO mice manifested reduced fat mass, whereas adult Jazf1 KO mice manifested increased fat mass and reductions in lean body mass associated with increased plasma growth hormone (GH) concentrations. Adult Jazf1 KO manifested muscle insulin resistance that was further exacerbated by high-fat diet feeding. Gene set enrichment analysis in Jazf1 KO liver identified the hepatocyte hepatic nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4α), which was decreased in Jazf1 KO liver and in JAZF1 knockdown cells. Moreover, GH-induced IGF-1 expression was inhibited by JAZF1 knockdown in human hepatocytes. Taken together these results demonstrate that reduction of JAZF1 leads to early growth retardation and late onset insulin resistance in vivo which may be mediated through alterations in the GH-IGF-1 axis and HNF4α.
Keywords: height; hnf4a; insulin like growth factor 1; jazf1; type 2 diabetes.