International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Jan 2020)

ColXV Aggravates Adipocyte Apoptosis by Facilitating Abnormal Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Mice

  • Tianyu Xia,
  • Zhentong Shen,
  • Jiarui Cai,
  • Miao Pan,
  • Chao Sun

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 3
p. 959


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The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly dynamic structural network and plays an essential role in cell behavior and regulation during metabolic homeostasis and obesity progression. Abnormal ECM remodeling impairs adipocyte plasticity required for diverse cellular functions. Collagen XV (ColXV) is a proteoglycan localized to the outermost layer of basement membranes (BMs) and forms a bridge between the BMs and the fibrillar collagen matrix. Nevertheless, how ColXV affects ECM composition and the reason for subsequent adipocyte apoptosis is still unclear. This report found, through RNA-seq data, that ColXV is linked to cell growth and ECM remodeling. Findings show that, in response to excessive expression of extracellular ColXV, the AMPK/mTORC1 pathway is strongly activated and triggers a cascade of mitochondrial apoptosis. This is the first study to make use of ECM three-dimensional reconstruction, based on decellularization in the adipose tissues and the study reveals that ColXV is an activation factor that alters ECM remodeling in adipose tissues. It was also demonstrated that the fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2)/fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) axis involved in ECM remodeling is suppressed by ColXV due to reduction of FGF2 translocation to FGFR1. Furthermore, ColXV induced remodeling of ECM preceding apoptosis and continued to induce apoptosis in adipocytes. Collectively, our findings establish ColXV as a basement membrane collagen with homology to ColXVIII, indicating that it is one of the positive regulators for inducing ECM remodeling and further promoting adipocyte apoptosis.