Browning deficiency and low mobilization of fatty acids in gonadal white adipose tissue leads to decreased cold-tolerance of transglutaminase 2 knock-out mice

András Mádi, Ixchelt Cuaranta-Monroy, Kinga Lénárt, Attila Pap, Zoltán András Mezei, Endre Kristóf, Anna Oláh, György Vámosi, Zsolt Bacsó, Péter Bai, László Fésüs

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During cold-exposure ‘beige’ adipocytes with increased mitochondrial content are activated in white adipose tissue (WAT). These cells, similarly to brown adipose tissue (BAT), dissipate stored chemical energy in the form of heat with the help of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). We investigated the effect of tissue transglutaminase (TG2) ablation on the function of ATs in mice. Although TG2+/+ and TG2−/− mice had the same amount of WAT and BAT, we found that TG2+/+ animals could tolerate acute cold exposure for 4 h, whereas TG2−/− mice only for 3 h. Both TG2−/− and TG2+/+ animals used up half of the triacylglycerol content of subcutaneous WAT (SCAT) after 3 h treatment; however, TG2−/− mice still possessed markedly whiter and higher amount of gonadal WAT (GONAT) as reflected in the larger size of adipocytes and lower free fatty acid levels in serum. Furthermore, lower expression of ‘beige’ marker genes such as UCP1, TBX1 and TNFRFS9 was observed after cold exposure in GONAT of TG2−/− mice, paralleled with a lower level of UCP1 protein and a decreased mitochondrial content. The detected changes in gene expression of Resistin and Adiponectin did not provoke glucose intolerance in the investigated TG2−/− mice, and TG2 deletion did not influence adrenaline, noradrenaline, glucagon and insulin production. Our data suggest that TG2 has a tissue-specific role in GONAT function and browning, which becomes apparent under acute cold exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1575-1586
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017



  • Beige adipocytes
  • Browning
  • Cold exposure
  • Differentiation
  • TG2
  • Uncoupling protein-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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