UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
Insulin Signaling and Metabolic Regulation in Adipocytes:Failure of normal adipocyte function has been proposed to be a key element in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes related to obesity. We have pursued studies of regulators of adipocyte metabolic function including the Ste20-related kinase Map4K4. Map4k4 appears to be a negative regulator of adipogenesis and adipocyte metabolism in part by downregulation of the transcription factor PPARgamma. These studies have revealed that Map4K4 may be an element in pathways downstream of inflammatory cytokines such as TNFalpha which have been shown to be overproduced in adipose tissue of obese animals and humans. We have recently developed methodology for adipose-tissue specific, shRNA mediated knockdown of Map4K4 in mice. We propose here to employ this model system to test the hypothesis that Map4k4 mediates obesity and inflammation-associated down regulation of adipocyte function in vivo. These funds were awarded for equipment required to accelerate progress of these studies which may provide novel insight into the connection between obesity and type 2 diabetes.