Obesity is a global epidemic that is caused by excessive energy intake or inefficient energy expenditure. Brown or beige fat dissipates energy as heat through non-shivering thermogenesis by their high density of mitochondria. However, how the mitochondrial stress-induced signal is coupled to the cellular thermogenic program remains elusive. Here, we show that mitochondrial DNA escape-induced activation of the cGAS-STING pathway negatively regulates thermogenesis in fat-specific DsbA-L knockout mice, a model of adipose tissue mitochondrial stress. Conversely, fat-specific overexpression of DsbA-L or knockout of STING protects mice against high-fat diet-induced obesity. Mechanistically, activation of the cGAS-STING pathway in adipocytes activated phosphodiesterase PDE3B/PDE4, leading to decreased cAMP levels and PKA signaling, thus reduced thermogenesis. Our study demonstrates that mitochondrial stress-activated cGAS-STING pathway functions as a sentinel signal that suppresses thermogenesis in adipose tissue. Targeting adipose cGAS-STING pathway may thus be a potential therapeutic strategy to counteract overnutrition-induced obesity and its associated metabolic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)