A team of researchers discovered that vinexin β deficiency exacerbated diet-induced obesity, hepatosteatosis, insulin resistance, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice, according to a study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

Vinexin β is part of a novel adaptor protein family and has been implicated in many important biological functions, including cell adhesion and growth factor signaling. Its deficiency has been linked to metabolic disorders such as obesity and atherosclerosis. 

Chen and colleagues further investigated the role of vinexin β in metabolic diseases. They obtained vinexin β-knockout (KO) mice from the RIKEN BioResource Center. The mice were randomly split into 2 groups: one on a high-fat diet (HFD) and another on a normal chow diet. The food intake and body weight of each mouse were recorded every 4 weeks. After 24 weeks, they were euthanized to harvest their liver, visceral fat tissue, and gastrocnemius muscle for further studies. 

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The results revealed that KO mice had greater obesity and accumulated higher amounts of visceral fat than the control group (wild-type littermates fed with HFD). KO mice also demonstrated more severe hepatosteatosis than the control group, which was hypothesized to be the result of significantly increased serum lipid accumulation. 

The research team also discovered that vinexin β knockout promoted HFD-induced insulin resistance and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the liver. In addition, genes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation were significantly downregulated in the adipose tissue of KO mice on an HFD, leading to conditions similar to long chain fatty acid oxidation disorder

Read more about long chain fatty acid oxidation disorder etiology 

The authors of the study concluded, “Taken together, our work firstly showed that vinexin β was downregulated during HFD-induced metabolic disorders. Vinexin β ablation significantly aggravated obesity, hyperlipidemia, hepatosteatosis, and insulin resistance induced by HFD, and these changes were possibly mediated by endoplasmic reticulum stress.” 


Chen R, Lou X, Jiang X, Deng S. Vinexin β deficiency exacerbates diet-induced obesity, hepatosteatosis, insulin resistance and endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Published online January 25, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2022.01.062