5 years ago

Mitochondrial H + -ATP synthase in human skeletal muscle: contribution to dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance

Theodore P. Ciaraldi, José M. Cuezva, Francisco Villarreal, John D. Lapek, Laura Formentini, Leslie Carter, Pam Taub, Robert R. Henry, Alexander J. Ryan, David J. Gonzalez, Manuel Gálvez-Santisteban



Mitochondria are important regulators of the metabolic phenotype in type 2 diabetes. A key factor in mitochondrial physiology is the H+-ATP synthase. The expression and activity of its physiological inhibitor, ATPase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1), controls tissue homeostasis, metabolic reprogramming and signalling. We aimed to characterise the putative role of IF1 in mediating skeletal muscle metabolism in obesity and diabetes.


We examined the ‘mitochondrial signature’ of obesity and type 2 diabetes in a cohort of 100 metabolically characterised human skeletal muscle biopsy samples. The expression and activity of H+-ATP synthase, IF1 and key mitochondrial proteins were characterised, including their association with BMI, fasting plasma insulin, fasting plasma glucose and HOMA-IR. IF1 was also overexpressed in primary cultures of human myotubes derived from the same biopsies to unveil the possible role played by the pathological inhibition of the H+-ATP synthase in skeletal muscle.


The results indicate that type 2 diabetes and obesity act via different mechanisms to impair H+-ATP synthase activity in human skeletal muscle (76% reduction in its catalytic subunit vs 280% increase in IF1 expression, respectively) and unveil a new pathway by which IF1 influences lipid metabolism. Mechanistically, IF1 altered cellular levels of α-ketoglutarate and l-carnitine metabolism in the myotubes of obese (84% of control) and diabetic (76% of control) individuals, leading to limited β-oxidation of fatty acids (60% of control) and their cytosolic accumulation (164% of control). These events led to enhanced release of TNF-α (10 ± 2 pg/ml, 27 ± 5 pg/ml and 35 ± 4 pg/ml in control, obese and type 2 diabetic participants, respectively), which probably contributes to an insulin resistant phenotype.


Overall, our data highlight IF1 as a novel regulator of lipid metabolism and metabolic disorders, and a possible target for therapeutic intervention.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-017-4379-z

DOI: 10.1007/s00125-017-4379-z

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.