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The transcription factor STAT1 plays a central role in orchestrating responses to various pathogens by activating the transcription of nuclear-encoded genes that mediate the antiviral, the antigrowth, and immune surveillance effects of interferons and other cytokines. In addition to regulating gene expression, we report that STAT1-/- mice display increased energy expenditure and paradoxically decreased release of triglycerides from white adipose tissue (WAT). Liver mitochondria from STAT1-/- mice show both defects in coupling of the electron transport chain (ETC) and increased numbers of mitochondria. Consistent with elevated numbers of mitochondria, STAT1-/- mice expressed increased amounts of PGC1α, a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. STAT1 binds to the PGC1α promoter in fed mice but not in fasted animals, suggesting that STAT1 inhibited transcription of PGC1α. Since STAT1-/-mice utilized more lipids we examined white adipose tissue (WAT) stores. Contrary to expectations, fasted STAT1-/- mice did not lose lipid from WAT. β-adrenergic stimulation of glycerol release from isolated STAT1-/- WAT was decreased, while activation of hormone sensitive lipase was not changed. These findings suggest that STAT1-/- adipose tissue does not release glycerol and that free fatty acids (FFA) re-esterify back to triglycerides, thus maintaining fat mass in fasted STAT1-/- mice.
Copyright © 2015 Sisler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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VCU Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Publications