Obesity-induced overexpression of miRNA-143 inhibits insulin-stimulated AKT activation and impairs glucose metabolism

Sabine D. Jordan, Markus Krüger, Diana M. Willmes, Nora Redemann, F. Thomas Wunderlich, Hella S. Brönneke, Carsten Merkwirth, Hamid Kashkar, Vesa M. Olkkonen, Thomas Böttger, Thomas Braun, Jost Seibler, Jens C. Brüning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

439 Scopus citations


The contribution of altered post-transcriptional gene silencing to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus so far remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that expression of microRNA (miR)-143 and 145 is upregulated in the liver of genetic and dietary mouse models of obesity. Induced transgenic overexpression of miR-143, but not miR-145, impairs insulin-stimulated AKT activation and glucose homeostasis. Conversely, mice deficient for the miR-143-145 cluster are protected from the development of obesity-associated insulin resistance. Quantitative-mass-spectrometry-based analysis of hepatic protein expression in miR-143-overexpressing mice revealed miR-143-dependent downregulation of oxysterol-binding-protein-related protein (ORP) 8. Reduced ORP8 expression in cultured liver cells impairs the ability of insulin to induce AKT activation, revealing an ORP8-dependent mechanism of AKT regulation. Our experiments provide direct evidence that dysregulated post-transcriptional gene silencing contributes to the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance, and characterize the miR-143-ORP8 pathway as a potential target for the treatment of obesity-associated diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-448
Number of pages15
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


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