PEX13 is required for thermogenesis of white adipose tissue in cold-exposed mice

Woo Yong Park, Jinbong Park, Sujin Lee, Gahee Song, In Koo Nam, Kwang Seok Ahn, Seong Kyu Choe, Jae Young Um

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) is a heat generating process controlled by the mitochondria of brown adipose tissue (BAT). In the recent decade, ‘functionally’ acting brown adipocytes in white adipose tissue (WAT) has been identified as well: the so-called process of the ‘browning’ of WAT. While the importance of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-oriented mitochondrial activation has been intensely studied, the role of peroxisomes during the browning of white adipocytes is poorly understood. Here, we assess the change in peroxisomal membrane proteins, or peroxins (PEXs), during cold stimulation and importantly, the role of PEX13 in the cold-induced remodeling of white adipocytes. PEX13, a protein that originally functions as a docking factor and is involved in protein import into peroxisome matrix, was highly increased during cold-induced recruitment of beige adipocytes within the inguinal WAT of C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, beige-induced 3 T3-L1 adipocytes and stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells by exposure to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonist rosiglitazone showed a significant increase in mitochondrial thermogenic factors along with peroxisomal proteins including PEX13, and these were confirmed in SVF cells with the beta 3 adrenergic receptor (β3AR)-selective agonist CL316,243. To verify the relevance of PEX13, we used the RNA silencing method targeting the Pex13 gene and evaluated the subsequent beige development in SVF cells. Interestingly, siPex13 treatment suppressed expression of thermogenic proteins such as UCP1 and PPARγ coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1α). Overall, our data provide evidence supporting the role of peroxisomal proteins, in particular PEX13, during beige remodeling of white adipocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number159046
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Beige adipocyte
  • Non-shivering thermogenesis
  • Peroxisomes
  • PEX13
  • UCP1


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