Afadin is a scaffold protein repressing insulin action via HDAC6 in adipose tissue

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Insulin orchestrates metabolic homeostasis through a complex signaling network for which the precise mechanisms controlling its fine-tuning are not completely understood. Here, we report that Afadin, a scaffold protein, is phosphorylated on S1795 (S1718 in humans) in response to insulin in adipocytes, and this phosphorylation is impaired with obesity and insulin resistance. In turn, loss of Afadin enhances the response to insulin in adipose tissues via upregulation of the insulin receptor protein levels. This happens in a cell-autonomous and phosphorylation-dependent manner. Insulin-stimulated Afadin-S1795 phosphorylation modulates Afadin binding with interaction partners in adipocytes, among which HDAC6 preferentially interacts with phosphorylated Afadin and acts as a key intermediate to suppress insulin receptor protein levels. Adipose tissue-specific Afadin depletion protects against insulin resistance and improves glucose homeostasis in diet-induced obese mice, independently of adiposity. Altogether, we uncover a novel insulin-induced cellular feedback mechanism governed by the interaction of Afadin with HDAC6 to negatively control insulin action in adipocytes, which may offer new strategies to alleviate insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere48216
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 225475736