Obesity and related metabolic pathologies represent a significant public health concern. Obesity is associated with increased oxidative stress that damages genomic and mitochondrial DNA. Oxidatively-induced lesions in both DNA pools are repaired via the base-excision repair pathway, initiated by DNA glycosylases such as 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1). Global deletion of OGG1 and common OGG1 polymorphisms render mice and humans susceptible to metabolic disease. However, the relative contribution of mitochondrial OGG1 to this metabolic phenotype is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that transgenic targeting of OGG1 to mitochondria confers significant protection from diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and adipose tissue inflammation. These favorable metabolic phenotypes are mediated by an increase in whole body energy expenditure driven by specific metabolic adaptations, including increased mitochondrial respiration in white adipose tissue of OGG1 transgenic (Ogg1Tg) animals. These data demonstrate a critical role for a DNA repair protein in modulating mitochondrial energetics and whole-body energy balance.
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