DOI: 10.2337/db23-353-or ISSN: 0012-1797

353-OR: Cdkn2a Regulates Beige Fat Maintenance through BECN1-Mediated Autophagy

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine

Summary: A potential therapeutic target to curb the obesity and diabetes epidemic is thermogenic beige adipocytes. However, beige adipocytes quickly transition into white adipocytes upon removing stimuli. Here, we define the critical role of Cdkn2a as a molecular pedal for the beige-to-white transition. Beige adipocytes lacking Cdkn2a exhibit prolonged lifespan, and mice are more resistant to diet-induced obesity, along with enhanced energy expenditure and improved glucose tolerance. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that Cdkn2a promotes the expression and activity of BECN1 by directly binding to its mRNA and its negative regulator BCL2L1, activating autophagy and accelerating the beige-to-white transition. Notably, reactivating autophagy by pharmacological or genetic methods abolishes beige adipocyte maintenance induced by Cdkn2a-ablation. Furthermore, hyperactive BECN1 alone significantly accelerates the beige-to-white transition. Collectively, these findings show that Cdkn2a-mediated autophagy serves as a brake system for beige adipocyte maintenance and is a highly promising target for anti-obesity and antidiabetes therapy.

Keywords: Beige adipocyte, UCP1, Cdkn2a, BECN1, Autophagy, Obesity


Y. Jiang: None.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (K01DK11177, R03DK127149, R01DK132398); Diabetes Research and Training Center (P30DK020595)

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