20 Scopus citations


The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a master regulator of adipocyte differentiation and is the target for the insulin-sensitizing thiazolidinedione (TZD) drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. In cell-based in vitro studies, the transcriptional activity of PPARγ is inhibited by covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMOylation) at K107 in its N terminus. However, whether this posttranslational modification is relevant in vivo remains unclear. Here, using mice homozygous for a mutation (K107R) that prevents SUMOylation at this position, we demonstrate that PPARγ is SUMOylated at K107 in white adipose tissue. We further show that in the context of diet-induced obesity PPARγ-K107R–mutant mice have enhanced insulin sensitivity without the corresponding increase in adiposity that typically accompanies PPARγ activation by TZDs. Accordingly, the PPARγ-K107R mutation was weaker than TZD treatment in stimulating adipocyte differentiation in vitro. Moreover, we found that both the basal and TZD-dependent transcriptomes of inguinal and epididymal white adipose tissue depots were markedly altered in the K107R-mutant mice. We conclude that PPARγ SUMOylation at K107 is physiologically relevant and may serve as a pharmacologic target for uncoupling PPARγ’s beneficial insulin-sensitizing effect from its adverse effect of weight gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12102-12111
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 27 2018


  • Adipose tissue
  • Insulin
  • PPARγ
  • Rosiglitazone
  • SUMOylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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