Optogenetic activation of UCP1-dependent thermogenesis in brown adipocytes
MaineHealth Institute for Research
Brown adipocytes are unique in that they expend energy and produce heat to maintain euthermia through expression of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1). Given their propensity to stimulate weight loss and promote resistance to obesity, they are a compelling interventional target for obesity-related disorders. Here, we tested whether an optogenetic approach could be used to activate UCP1-dependent thermogenesis in brown adipocytes. We generated brown adipocytes expressing a bacterial-derived photoactivatable adenylyl cyclase (bPAC) that, upon blue light stimulation, increases UCP1 expression, fuel uptake and thermogenesis. This unique system allows for precise, chemical free, temporal control of UCP1-dependent thermogenesis, which can aid in our understanding of brown adipocyte biology and development of therapies that target obesity-related disorders.
Doucette CC, Nguyen DC, Barteselli D, et al. Optogenetic activation of UCP1-dependent thermogenesis in brown adipocytes. iScience. 2023;26(4):106560. Published 2023 Apr 1. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2023.106560