Down regulation of Peroxiredoxin-3 in 3T3-L1 adipocytes leads to oxidation of Rictor in the mammalian-target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2)

Dalay H. Olson, Joel S. Burrill, Jovan Kuzmicic, Wendy S. Hahn, Ji Man Park, Do Hyung Kim, David A. Bernlohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mitochondrially-derived oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance and is correlated with down regulation of Peroxiredoxin-3 (Prdx3). Prdx3 knockout mice exhibit whole-body insulin resistance, while Prdx3 transgenic animals remain insulin sensitive when placed on a high fat diet. To define the molecular events linking mitochondrial oxidative stress to insulin action, Prdx3 was silenced in 3T3-L1 adipocytes (Prdx3 KD) and the resultant cells evaluated for mitochondrial function, endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress), mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR) and insulin signaling. Prdx3 KD cells exhibit a two-fold increase in H2O2, reduced insulin-stimulated glucose transport and attenuated S473 phosphorylation of the mTORC2 substrate, Akt. Importantly, the decrease in glucose uptake can be rescued by pre-treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). The changes in insulin sensitivity occur independently from activation of the ER stress or mtUPR pathways. Analysis of mTORC2, the complex responsible for phosphorylating Akt at S473, reveals increased cysteine oxidation of Rictor in Prdx3 KD cells that can be rescued with NAC. Taken together, these data suggest mitochondrial dysfunction in adipocytes may attenuate insulin signaling via oxidation of the mammalian-target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1317
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 25 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the members of the Bernlohr laboratory for helpful discussions during the preparation and editing of this manuscript. We would also like to thank Dr. James Ervasti for the use of his Deltavision Personal DV microscope. This work was supported by NIH RO1 DK084669 to DAB, R01 GM097057 to DHK and the Minnesota Nutrition and Obesity Center ( NIHP30 DK050456 ). DO was supported by NIH T32 HL007741 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Adipocytes
  • Akt
  • Insulin resistance
  • Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTORC2)
  • Oxidative stress
  • Peroxiredoxin-3
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Rictor


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