Obesity is a global health threat, and the induction of white adipose tissue (WAT) browning presents a promising therapeutic method for it. Recent publications revealed the essential role of protein arginine methyltransferase 4 (PRMT4) in lipid metabolism and adipogenesis, but its involvement in WAT browning has not been investigated. Our initial studies found that the expression of PRMT4 in adipocytes was upregulated in cold-induced WAT browning but downregulated in obesity. Besides, PRMT4 overexpression in inguinal adipose tissue accelerated WAT browning and thermogenesis to protect against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and metabolic disruptions. Mechanistically, our work demonstrated that PRMT4 methylated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) on Arg240 to enhance its interaction with the co-activator PR domain-containing protein 16 (PRDM16), leading to the increased expression of thermogenic genes. Taken together, our results uncover the essential role of PRMT4/PPARγ/PRDM16 axis in the pathogenesis of WAT browning.
This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.22929269.