Our knowledge about adipocyte metabolism and development is steadily growing, yet many players are still undefined. Here, we show that α/β-hydrolase domain containing protein 15 (Abhd15) is a direct and functional target gene of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), the master regulator of adipogenesis. In line, Abhd15 is mainly expressed in brown and white adipose tissue and strongly upregulated during adipogenesis in various murine and human cell lines. Stable knockdown of Abhd15 in 3T3-L1 cells evokes a striking differentiation defect, as evidenced by low lipid accumulation and decreased expression of adipocyte marker genes. In preconfluent cells, knockdown of Abhd15 leads to impaired proliferation, which is caused by apoptosis, as we see an increased SubG1 peak, caspase 3/7 activity, and BAX protein expression as well as a reduction in anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein. Furthermore, apoptosis-inducing amounts of palmitic acid evoke a massive increase of Abhd15 expression, proposing an apoptosis-protecting role for ABHD15. On the other hand, in mature adipocytes physiological (i.e. non-apoptotic) concentrations of palmitic acid down-regulate Abhd15 expression. Accordingly, we found that the expression of Abhd15 in adipose tissue is reduced in physiological situations with high free fatty acid levels, like high-fat diet, fasting, and aging as well as in genetically obese mice. Collectively, our results position ABHD15 as an essential component in the development of adipocytes as well as in apoptosis, thereby connecting two substantial factors in the regulation of adipocyte number and size. Together with its intricate regulation by free fatty acids, ABHD15 might be an intriguing new target in obesity and diabetes research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)