Objective In obesity and type 2 diabetes, the impairment of mitochondrial function in white adipose tissue (WAT) is linked to a reduction in whole body insulin sensitivity. Timm44 is upregulated in the kidneys of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. In the inner mitochondrial membrane, Timm44 anchors mitochondrial heat-shock protein 70 (mtHsp70) to the translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane 23 (TIM23) complex and facilitates the import of mitochondria-targeted preproteins into the mitochondrial matrix dependent on the inner membrane potential and ATP hydrolysis on ATPase domain of mtHsp70. Methods We generated the aP2-promoter driven Timm44 transgenic (Tg) mouse model and investigated whether Timm44 Tg mice fed high-fat/high-sucrose (HFHS) chow are protected from type 2 diabetes and obesity. Results The body weight of aP2-promoter driven Timm44 Tg mice was lower than that of wild type mice, and insulin sensitivity was greater in Timm44 Tg mice than in wild type mice. Although WAT weight was not altered in Timm44 Tg mice fed HFHS chow, adipocyte size was reduced, and mitochondrial fusion associated with decreased expression of fission genes, such as Dnm1l and Fis1, was observed. In addition, when fed standard (STD) chow, the expressions of the fusion genes Opa1, Mfn1 and Mfn2, and Mfn1 were significantly increased in Timm44 Tg mice compared to wild type mice, and fused mitochondria were also observed in Timm44 Tg mice fed STD chow. Conclusions The Timm44 gene may be a new target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
- Preprotein import
- Reactive oxygen species
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism