Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with hepatic insulin resistance (HIR), however the key lipid species and molecular mechanisms linking these conditions are widely debated. In order to address these questions, we examined the metabolic impact of a liver-specific antisense oligonucleotide against PKCε and found that liver-specific PKCε knockdown ameliorated high-fat diet-induced HIR in rats, reflected by ∼2x increase in insulin-stimulated hepatic glycogen synthesis rate and improved insulin-mediated suppression of endogenous glucose production during a hyperinsulinemic-hyperglycemic (HH) clamp. This was associated with increased IRK Y1162 and Akt S473 phosphorylation and could be attributed to decreased PKCε-mediated IRK T1160 phosphorylation. Overexpressing a constitutively active PKCε (A159E) in the liver induced HIR in regular chow-fed rats, reflected by reduced insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis rate during an HH clamp. This was associated with impaired IRK Y1162 and Akt S473 phosphorylation and could be attributed to increased PKCε-mediated IRK T1160 phosphorylation. We also developed a subcellular fractionation method to quantify diacylglycerol (DAG) stereoisomers and ceramides in the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, plasma membrane (PM), lipid droplet and cytosol and applied this method to a cohort of obese human subjects with and without NAFLD and HIR. Liver PM sn-1,2 DAG content was ∼5x higher in HIR individuals with NAFLD compared to insulin-sensitive individuals without NAFLD, associated with ∼3x higher IRK T1160 phosphorylation, supporting the importance of PM sn-1,2 DAG-PKCε-IRK pT1160 pathway to mediate HIR in humans with NAFLD. In contrast there were no significant differences in ceramide content in any of the subcellular compartments.
Conclusion: These data identify PM sn-1,2 DAGs as the key lipids that activate PKCε, and that hepatic PKCε is both necessary and sufficient in mediating HIR.
K. Lyu: None. D. Zhang: None. M. Kahn: None. M.R.S. Rodrigues: None. S. Hirabara: None. P. Luukkonen: None. S. Lee: None. S. Bhanot: None. J. Rinehart: None. N. Blume: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. M. Rasch: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. M.J. Serlie: None. J. Bogan: None. G. Cline: None. V. Samuel: None. G.I. Shulman: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Merck & Co., Inc. Advisory Panel; Spouse/Partner; Merck & Co., Inc. Consultant; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Consultant; Spouse/Partner; Novo Nordisk A/S. Other Relationship; Self; Gilead Sciences, Inc., iMetabolic Biopharma Corporation. Other Relationship; Spouse/Partner; iMetabolic Biopharma Corporation. Other Relationship; Self; Maze Therapeutics.
U.S. Public Health Service (R01DK116774, R01DK119968, R01DK113984, P30DK045735, R01 DK092661); U.S. Department of Veternas Affairs (I01BX000901)