Springer Nature

Identification of Gm15441, a Txnip antisense lncRNA, as a critical regulator in liver metabolic homeostasis

Posted on 2021-12-15 - 04:32
Abstract Background The majority of mammalian genome is composed of non-coding regions, where numerous long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcribed. Although lncRNAs have been identified to regulate fundamental biological processes, most of their functions remain unknown, especially in metabolic homeostasis. Analysis of our recent genome-wide screen reveals that Gm15441, a thioredoxin-interacting protein (Txnip) antisense lncRNA, is the most robustly induced lncRNA in the fasting mouse liver. Antisense lncRNAs are known to regulate their sense gene expression. Given that Txnip is a critical metabolic regulator of the liver, we aimed to investigate the role of Gm15441 in the regulation of Txnip and liver metabolism. Methods We examined the response of Gm15441 and Txnip under in vivo metabolic signals such as fasting and refeeding, and in vitro signals such as insulin and key metabolic transcription factors. We investigated the regulation of Txnip expression by Gm15441 and the underlying mechanism in mouse hepatocytes. Using adenovirus-mediated liver-specific overexpression, we determined whether Gm15441 regulates Txnip in the mouse liver and modulates key aspects of liver metabolism. Results We found that the expression levels of Gm15441 and Txnip showed a similar response pattern to metabolic signals in vivo and in vitro, but that their functions were predicted to be opposite. Furthermore, we found that Gm15441 robustly reduced Txnip protein expression in vitro through sequence-specific regulation and translational inhibition. Lastly, we confirmed the Txnip inhibition by Gm15441 in vivo (mice) and found that Gm15441 liver-specific overexpression lowered plasma triglyceride and blood glucose levels and elevated plasma ketone body levels. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that Gm15441 is a potent Txnip inhibitor and a critical metabolic regulator in the liver. This study reveals the therapeutic potential of Gm15441 in treating metabolic diseases.


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