Obesity has recently become a prevalent health threat worldwide. Although emerging evidence has suggested a strong link between the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and obesity, the role of transketolase (TKT), an enzyme in the nonoxidative branch of the PPP that connects PPP and glycolysis, remains obscure in adipose tissues. In this study, we specifically deleted TKT in mouse adipocytes and found no obvious phenotype upon normal diet feeding. However, adipocyte TKT abrogation attenuated high-fat diet–induced obesity, reduced hepatic steatosis, improved glucose tolerance, alleviated insulin resistance, and increased energy expenditure. Mechanistically, TKT deficiency accumulated nonoxidative PPP metabolites and decreased glycolysis and pyruvate input into the mitochondria, leading to increased lipolytic enzyme gene expression and enhanced lipolysis, fatty acid oxidation, and mitochondrial respiration. Therefore, our data not only identify a novel role of TKT in regulating lipolysis and obesity but also suggest that limiting glucose-derived carbon into the mitochondria induces lipid catabolism and energy expenditure.
- Received November 1, 2019.
- Accepted April 9, 2020.
- © 2020 by the American Diabetes Association