Maintaining proper energy balance in mammals entails intimate crosstalk between various tissues and organs. These inter-organ communications are mediated, to a great extent, by secreted hormones that circulate in blood. Regulation of the complex metabolic networks by secreted hormones (e.g., insulin, glucagon, leptin, adiponectin, FGF21) constitutes an important mechanism governing the integrated control of whole-body metabolism. Disruption of hormone-mediated metabolic circuits frequently results in dysregulated energy metabolism and pathology. As part of an effort to identify novel metabolic hormones, we recently characterized a highly conserved family of 15 secreted proteins, the C1q/TNF-related proteins (CTRP1-15). While related to adiponectin in sequence and structural organization, each CTRP has its own unique tissue expression profile and non-redundant function in regulating sugar and/or fat metabolism. Here, we summarize the current understanding of the physiological functions of CTRPs, emphasizing their metabolic roles. Future studies using gain-of-function and loss-of-function mouse models will provide greater mechanistic insights into the critical role CTRPs play in regulating systemic energy homeostasis.
- Fat oxidation
- Insulin resistance
- Type 2 diabetes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism