Obesity and related metabolic disorders have become leading causes of adult morbidity and mortality. KRAP (Ki-ras-induced actin-interacting protein) is a cytoskeleton-associated protein and a ubiquitous protein among tissues, originally identified as a cancer-related molecule, however, its physiological roles remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that KRAP-deficient (KRAP？/？) mice show enhanced metabolic rate, decreased adiposity, improved glucose tolerance, hypoinsulinemia and hypoleptinemia. KRAP？/？ mice are also protected against high-fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance despite of hyperphagia. Notably, glucose uptake in the brown adipose tissue (BAT) in KRAP？/？ mice is enhanced in an insulin-independent manner, suggesting that BAT is involved in altered energy homeostasis in KRAP？/？ mice, although UCP (Uncoupling protein) expressions are not altered. Of interest is the down-regulation of fatty acid metabolism-related molecules, including acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC)-1, ACC-2 and fatty acid synthase in the liver of KRAP？/？ mice, which could in part account for the metabolic phenotype in KRAP？/？ mice. Thus, KRAP is a novel regulator in whole-body energy homeostasis and may be a therapeutic target in obesity and related diseases.
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