The incidence of type 2 diabetes, the most common cause of diabetic retinopathy (DR), is rapidly on the rise in developed countries due to overconsumption of calorie rich diets. Using an animal model of diet-induced obesity/pre-diabetes, we evaluated the impact of a diet high in saturated fat (HFD) on O-GlcNAcylation of retinal proteins, as dysregulated O-GlcNAcylation contributes to diabetic complications and evidence supports a role in DR. Protein O-GlcNAcylation was increased in the retina of mice fed a HFD as compared to littermates receiving control chow. Similarly, O-GlcNAcylation was elevated in retinal Müller cells in culture exposed to the saturated fatty acid palmitate or the ceramide analog Cer6. One potential mechanism responsible for elevated O-GlcNAcylation is increased flux through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). Indeed, inhibition of the pathway's rate-limiting enzyme glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFAT) prevented Cer6-induced O-GlcNAcylation. Importantly, expression of the mRNA encoding GFAT2, but not GFAT1 was elevated in both the retina of mice fed a HFD and in retinal cells in culture exposed to palmitate or Cer6. Notably, expression of nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1 (NR4A1) was increased in the retina of mice fed a HFD and NR4A1 expression was sufficient to promote GFAT2 mRNA expression and O-GlcNAcylation in retinal cells in culture. Whereas palmitate or Cer6 addition to culture medium enhanced NR4A1 and GFAT2 expression, chemical inhibition of NR4A1 transactivation repressed Cer6-induced GFAT2 mRNA expression. Overall, the results support a model wherein HFD increases retinal protein O-GlcNAcylation by promoting NR4A1-dependent GFAT2 expression.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease|
|State||Published - Dec 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology