Journal article

Mfn2 is critical for brown adipose tissue thermogenic function

Mitochondrial fusion and fission events, collectively known as mitochondrial dynamics, act as quality control mechanisms to ensure mitochondrial function and fine-tune cellular bioenergetics. Defective mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) expression and enhanced mitochondrial fission in skeletal muscle are hallmarks of insulin-resistant states. Interestingly, Mfn2 is highly expressed in brown adipose tissue (BAT), yet its role remains unexplored. Using adipose-specific Mfn2 knockout (Mfn2-adKO) mice, we demonstrate that Mfn2, but not Mfn1, deficiency in BAT leads to a profound BAT dysfunction, associated with impaired respiratory capacity and a blunted response to adrenergic stimuli. Importantly, Mfn2 directly interacts with perilipin 1, facilitating the interaction between the mitochondria and the lipid droplet in response to adrenergic stimulation. Surprisingly, Mfn2-adKO mice were protected from high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Altogether, these results demonstrate that Mfn2 is a mediator of mitochondria to lipid droplet interactions, influencing lipolytic processes and whole-body energy homeostasis.


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