Cover Story Current Issue

Alterations in mitochondrial structure and function are commonly observed in adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. In ALS, mitochondrial dysfunction impairs the efficiency of electron transport chain (ETC) activity and ATP production and leads to the accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, abnormal handling of intracellular calcium and cytochrome C release and apoptosis. The extent to which these alterations in mitochondrial functionimpair cellular operations is unclear. Therapeutic intervention based on combating these mitochondrial abnormalities have displayed variable success in mouse models of ALS and humans, as reviewed in Vandoorne et al.

Sean-Patrick Riechers, Jelena Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Tayler B. Belton, Ram P. Chakrabarty, ... Robert G. Kalb

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A novel role for GalNAc-T2 dependent glycosylation in energy homeostasis

Cristy R.C. Verzijl, Federico Oldoni, Natalia Loaiza, Justina C. Wolters, ... Jan Albert Kuivenhoven

A novel role for GalNAc-T2 dependent glycosylation in energy homeostasis

Objective

GALNT2, encoding polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 (GalNAc-T2), was initially discovered as a regulator of high-density lipoprotein metabolism. GalNAc-T2 is known to exert these effects through post-translational modification, i.e., O-linked glycosylationof secreted proteins with established roles in plasma lipid metabolism. It has recently become clear that loss of GALNT2 in rodents, cattle, nonhuman primates, and humans should be regarded as a novel congenital disorder of glycosylation that affects development and body weight. The role of GALNT2 in metabolic abnormalities other than plasma lipids, including insulin sensitivityand energy homeostasis, is poorly understood.

Methods

GWAS data from the UK Biobank was used to study variation in the GALNT2 locus beyond changes in high-density lipoprotein metabolism. Experimental data were obtained through studies in Galnt2−/− mice and wild-type littermates on both control and high-fat diet.

Results

First, we uncovered associations between GALNT2 gene variation, adiposity, and body mass index in humans. In mice, we identify the insulin receptor as a novel substrate of GalNAc-T2 and demonstrate that Galnt2−/− mice exhibit decreased adiposity, alterations in insulin signaling and a shift in energy substrate utilization in the inactive phase.

Conclusions

This study identifies a novel role for GALNT2 in energy homeostasis, and our findings suggest that the local effects of GalNAc-T2 are mediated through posttranslational modification of the insulin receptor.

A novel role for GalNAc-T2 dependent glycosylation in energy homeostasis

Cristy R.C. Verzijl, Federico Oldoni, Natalia Loaiza, Justina C. Wolters, ... Jan Albert Kuivenhoven

A novel role for GalNAc-T2 dependent glycosylation in energy homeostasis

Objective

GALNT2, encoding polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 (GalNAc-T2), was initially discovered as a regulator of high-density lipoprotein metabolism. GalNAc-T2 is known to exert these effects through post-translational modification, i.e., O-linked glycosylationof secreted proteins with established roles in plasma lipid metabolism. It has recently become clear that loss of GALNT2 in rodents, cattle, nonhuman primates, and humans should be regarded as a novel congenital disorder of glycosylation that affects development and body weight. The role of GALNT2 in metabolic abnormalities other than plasma lipids, including insulin sensitivityand energy homeostasis, is poorly understood.

Methods

GWAS data from the UK Biobank was used to study variation in the GALNT2 locus beyond changes in high-density lipoprotein metabolism. Experimental data were obtained through studies in Galnt2−/− mice and wild-type littermates on both control and high-fat diet.

Results

First, we uncovered associations between GALNT2 gene variation, adiposity, and body mass index in humans. In mice, we identify the insulin receptor as a novel substrate of GalNAc-T2 and demonstrate that Galnt2−/− mice exhibit decreased adiposity, alterations in insulin signaling and a shift in energy substrate utilization in the inactive phase.

Conclusions

This study identifies a novel role for GALNT2 in energy homeostasis, and our findings suggest that the local effects of GalNAc-T2 are mediated through posttranslational modification of the insulin receptor.

2021 impact factor: 7.422

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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