Adiponectin has been receiving a great deal of attention due to its potential therapeutic use for metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. Adiponectin expression levels and multimerization are down-regulated in obesity and up-regulated by insulin sensitizers such as thiazolidinediones (TZDs), metformin, sulfonylurea and resveratrol (RSV). The precise mechanisms underlying adiponectin up- and down-regulation remain largely unknown, but recent studies indicate that the cellular and plasma levels of adiponectin could be regulated at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. At the post-translational level, TZDs and resveratrol promote adiponectin levels and multimerization via up-regulation of disulfide-bond-A oxidoreductase-like protein (DsbA-L). Adiponectin levels are also stimulated by FOXO1 and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and are suppressed by PKA or silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid hormone receptors (SMRT). Since multimerization is important not only for adiponectin function but also for stability, increasing adiponectin multimerization has become a promising drug target for the treatment of metabolic diseases and other related disorders.
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