Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.533, No.1, 17-22, 2020
Mice lacking DUSP6/8 have enhanced ERK1/2 activity and resistance to diet-induced obesity
Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) have been implicated as important regulators of metabolic homeostasis. Here we generated a new mouse model with genetic deletion of two ERK1/2 phosphatases, dual specificity phosphatase (DUSP) 6 and 8, to further define the role of ERK1/2 in obesity development. Dusp6/8 double-null mice demonstrated elevated ERK1/2 phosphorylation in multiple tissues, without any change of phosphorylation of p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs). Elevated ERK1/2 activity in Dusp6/8 double-null mice was associated with larger hearts and other organs, consistent with greater rate of cell proliferation in these mice. However, ERK1/2 activation was not sufficient to protect the mouse hearts from pathological hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis following angiotensin II and phenylephrine stimulation. Interestingly, mice lacking DUSP6/8 were resistant to high-fat diet-induced obesity. Serum triglyceride, lipid content in the liver and visceral adipose tissues was also dramatically reduced in Dusp6/8 double-null mice. Furthermore, Dusp6/8 double-null mice had improved glucose tolerance. Mechanistically, we found out that elevated ERK1/2 activity increased the expression levels of genes involved in lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis. Together, our data suggest that ERK1/2 play an essential role for the management of metabolic homeostasis. Published by Elsevier Inc.