Obesity has become an explicit public health concern because of its relevance to metabolic syndrome. Evidence points to the significance of beige adipocytes in regulating energy expenditure. Here, using yeast two-hybrid screening, we show that Zfp238 is a Foxo1 co-repressor and that adipose-tissue-specific ablation of Zfp238 (Adipo-Zfp238KO)in mice leads to obesity, decreased energy expenditure, and insulin resistance under normal chow diet. Adipo-Zfp238KO inhibits induction of Ucp1 expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue upon cold exposure or CL316243, but not in brown adipose tissue. Furthermore, knockdown of Zfp238 in 3T3-L1 cells decreases Ucp1 expression in response to cool incubation or forskolin significantly compared with control cells. In contrast, overexpression of Zfp238 in 3T3-L1 cells significantly increases Ucp1 expression in response to forskolin. Finally, double knockdown of both Zfp238 and Foxo1 normalizes Ucp1 induction. These data suggest that Zfp238 in adipose tissue regulates the thermogenic program in cooperation with Foxo1.
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