CRISPR/SaCas9 mutagenesis of stromal interaction molecule 1 in proopiomelanocortin neurons increases glutamatergic excitability and protects against diet-induced obesity

Jian Qiu, Martha A. Bosch, Todd L. Stincic, Avery C. Hunker, Larry S. Zweifel, Oline K. Rønnekleiv, Martin J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons are the key anorexigenic hypothalamic neuron for integrating metabolic cues to generate the appropriate output for maintaining energy homeostasis and express the requisite channels as a perfect synaptic integrator in this role. Similar to the metabolic hormones leptin and insulin, glutamate also excites POMC neurons via group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1 and 5, mGluR1/5) that activate Transient Receptor Potential Canonical (TRPC 5) Channels to cause depolarization. A key modulator of TRPC 5 channel activity is stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1), which is involved in recruitment of TRPC 5 channels from receptor-operated to store-operated calcium entry following depletion of calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum. Methods: We used a single adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector containing a recombinase-dependent Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 (SaCas) and a single guide RNA (sgRNA) to mutate Stim1 in POMCCre neurons in male mice, verified by qPCR of Stim1 mRNA expression in single POMC neurons. Whole-cell patch clamp experiments were conducted to validate the effects of Stim1 mutagenesis. Body weight and food intake were measured in male mice to assess disruptions in energy balance. Results: Reduced Stim1 expression augmented the efficacy of the mGluR1/5 agonist 3, 5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) to depolarize POMC neurons via a Gαq-coupled signaling pathway, which is an essential part of excitatory glutamatergic input in regulating energy homeostasis. The TRPC 5 channel blockers HC070 and Pico145 antagonized the excitatory effects of DHPG. As proof of principle, mutagenesis of Stim1 in POMC neurons reduced food intake, attenuated weight gain, reduced body fat and fat pad mass in mice fed a high fat diet. Conclusions: Using CRISPR technology we have uncovered a critical role of STIM1 in modulating glutamatergic activation of TRPC 5 channels in POMC neurons, which ultimately is important for maintaining energy balance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101645
JournalMolecular Metabolism
Volume66
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • CRISPR/SaCas9
  • Glutamate
  • High fat diet
  • POMC
  • STIM1
  • TRPC 5 channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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