PDK4 augments ER–mitochondria contact to dampen skeletal muscle insulin signaling during obesity

Themis Thoudam, Chae Myeong Ha, Jaechan Leem, Dipanjan Chanda, Jong Seok Park, Hyo Jeong Kim, Jae Han Jeon, Yeon Kyung Choi, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Yang Hoon Huh, Tae Hwan Kwon, Keun Gyu Park, Robert A. Harris, Kyu Sang Park, Hyun Woo Rhee, In Kyu Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane (MAM) is a structural link between mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). MAM regulates Ca 2+ transport from the ER to mitochondria via an IP3R1-GRP75-VDAC1 complex–dependent mechanism. Excessive MAM formation may cause mitochondrial Ca 2+ overload and mitochondrial dysfunction. However, the exact implication of MAM formation in metabolic syndromes remains debatable. Here, we demonstrate that PDK4 interacts with and stabilizes the IP3R1-GRP75-VDAC1 complex at the MAM interface. Obesity-induced increase in PDK4 activity augments MAM formation and suppresses insulin signaling. Conversely, PDK4 inhibition dampens MAM formation and improves insulin signaling by preventing MAM-induced mitochondrial Ca 2+ accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ER stress. Furthermore, Pdk4 2 / 2 mice exhibit reduced MAM formation and are protected against diet-induced skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Finally, forced formation and stabilization of MAMs with synthetic ER–mitochondria linker prevented the beneficial effects of PDK4 deficiency on insulin signaling. Overall, our findings demonstrate a critical mediatory role of PDK4 in the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance via enhancement of MAM formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-586
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Thoudam, T., Ha, C. M., Leem, J., Chanda, D., Park, J. S., Kim, H. J., Jeon, J. H., Choi, Y. K., Liangpunsakul, S., Huh, Y. H., Kwon, T. H., Park, K. G., Harris, R. A., Park, K. S., Rhee, H. W., & Lee, I. K. (2019). PDK4 augments ER–mitochondria contact to dampen skeletal muscle insulin signaling during obesity. Diabetes, 68(3), 571-586. https://doi.org/10.2337/db18-0363