Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Neuroscience and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Ankyrin repeat and SOCS box containing protein 4 (Asb-4) colocalizes with insulin receptor substrate 4 (IRS4) in the hypothalamic neurons and mediates IRS4 degradation

Ji-Yao Li1, Biaoxin Chai1, Weizhen Zhang1, Xiaobin Wu1, Chao Zhang1, Danielle Fritze1, Zefeng Xia1, Cam Patterson2 and Michael W Mulholland1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 USA

2 Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. North Carolina 27599, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:95  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-95

Published: 28 September 2011

Abstract

Background

The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus regulates food intake. Ankyrin repeat and SOCS box containing protein 4 (Asb-4) is expressed in neuropeptide Y and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the arcuate nucleus, target neurons in the regulation of food intake and metabolism by insulin and leptin. However, the target protein(s) of Asb-4 in these neurons remains unknown. Insulin receptor substrate 4 (IRS4) is an adaptor molecule involved in the signal transduction by both insulin and leptin. In the present study we examined the colocalization and interaction of Asb-4 with IRS4 and the involvement of Asb-4 in insulin signaling.

Results

In situ hybridization showed that the expression pattern of Asb-4 was consistent with that of IRS4 in the rat brain. Double in situ hybridization showed that IRS4 colocalized with Asb-4, and both Asb-4 and IRS4 mRNA were expressed in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons within the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. In HEK293 cells co-transfected with Myc-tagged Asb-4 and Flag-tagged IRS4, Asb-4 co-immunoprecipitated with IRS4; In these cells endogenous IRS4 also co-immunoprecipitated with transfected Myc-Asb-4; Furthermore, Asb-4 co-immunoprecipitated with IRS4 in rat hypothalamic extracts. In HEK293 cells over expression of Asb-4 decreased IRS4 protein levels and deletion of the SOCS box abolished this effect. Asb-4 increased the ubiquitination of IRS4; Deletion of SOCS box abolished this effect. Expression of Asb-4 decreased both basal and insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of AKT at Thr308.

Conclusions

These data demonstrated that Asb-4 co-localizes and interacts with IRS4 in hypothalamic neurons. The interaction of Asb-4 with IRS4 in cell lines mediates the degradation of IRS4 and decreases insulin signaling.