Carbonylation of adipose proteins in obesity and insulin resistance: Identification of adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein as a cellular target of 4-hydroxynonenal

Paul A. Grimsrud, Matthew J. Picklo, Timothy J. Griffin, David A. Bernlohr

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187 Scopus citations


Obesity is a state of mild inflammation correlated with increased oxidative stress. In general, pro-oxidative conditions lead to production of reactive aidehydes such as trans-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and trans-4-oxo-2-nonenal implicated in the development of a variety of metabolic diseases. To investigate protein modification by 4-HNE as a consequence of obesity and its potential relationship to the development of insulin resistance, proteomics technologies were utilized to identify aidehydemodified proteins in adipose tissue. Adipose proteins from lean insulin-sensitive and obese insulin-resistant C57BI/ 6J mice were incubated with biotin hydrazide and detected using horseradish peroxidase-conjugated streptavidin. High carbohydrate, high fat feeding of mice resulted in a ∼2-3-fold increase in total adipose protein carbonylation. Consistent with an increase in oxidative stress in obesity, the abundance of glutathione S-trans-ferase A4 (GSTA4), a key enzyme responsible for metabolizing 4-HNE, was decreased ∼3-4-fold in adipose tissue of obese mice. To identify specific carbonylated proteins, biotin hydrazide-modified adipose proteins from obese mice were captured using avidin-Sepharose affinity chromatography, proteolytically digested, and subjected to LC-ESI MS/MS. Interestingly enzymes involved in cellular stress response, lipotoxicity, and insulin signaling such as glutathione S-transferase M1, peroxiredoxin 1, glutathione peroxidase 1, eukaryotic elongation factor 1α-1 (eEF1αl), and filamin A were identified. The adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein, a protein implicated in the regulation of insulin resistance, was found to be carbonylated in vivo with 4-HNE. In vitro modification of adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein with 4-HNE was mapped to Cys-1 17, occurred equivalently using either the R or S enantiomer of 4-HNE, and reduced the affinity of the protein for fatty acids ∼10-fold. These results indicate that obesity is accompanied by an increase in the carbonylation of a number of adipose-regulatory proteins that may serve as a mechanistic link between increased oxidative stress and the development of insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-637
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


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