GADD45γ regulates the thermogenic capacity of brown adipose tissue

Marin L. Gantner, Bethany C. Hazen, Juliana Conkright, Anastasia Kralli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1 α (PGC-1α) is widely considered a central transcriptional regulator of adaptive thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT). However,mice lacking PGC-1α specifically in adipose tissue have only mild thermogenic defects, suggesting the presence of additional regulators. Using the activity of estrogen-related receptors (ERRs), downstream effectors of PGC-1α, as read-out in a high-throughput genome-wide cDNA screen, we identify here growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible protein 45 γ (GADD45γ) as a cold-induced activator of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and oxidative capacity in BAT. Mice lacking Gadd45γ have defects in Ucp1 induction and the thermogenic response to cold. GADD45γ works by activating MAPK p38, which is a potent activator of ERRâ and ERRγ transcriptional function. GADD45γ activates ERRγ independently of PGC-1 coactivators, yet synergizes with PGC-1α to induce the thermogenic program. Our findings elucidate a previously unidentified GADD45γ/p38/ ERRγ pathway that regulates BAT thermogenesis and may enable new approaches for the stimulation of energy expenditure. Our study also implicates GADD45 proteins as general metabolic regulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11870-11875
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 12 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenergic response
  • Norepinephrine signaling
  • Nuclear receptors
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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