Insulin resistance and diabetes caused by genetic or diet-induced KBTBD2 deficiency in mice

Zhao Zhang, Emre Turer, Xiaohong Li, Xiaoming Zhan, Mihwa Choi, Miao Tang, Amanda Press, Steven R. Smith, Adeline Divoux, Eva Marie Y Moresco, Bruce Beutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We describe a metabolic disorder characterized by lipodystrophy, hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, severe diabetes, and growth retardation observed in mice carrying N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutations. The disorder was ascribed to a mutation of kelch repeat and BTB (POZ) domain containing 2 (Kbtbd2) and was mimicked by a CRISPR/Cas9-targeted null allele of the same gene. Kbtbd2 encodes a BTB-Kelch family substrate recognition subunit of the Cullin-3-based E3 ubiquitin ligase. KBTBD2 targeted p85α, the regulatory subunit of the phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) heterodimer, causing p85α ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation. In the absence of KBTBD2, p85α accumulated to 30-fold greater levels than in wild-type adipocytes, and excessive p110-free p85α blocked the binding of p85α-p110 heterodimers to IRS1, interrupting the insulin signal. Both transplantation of wild-type adipose tissue and homozygous germ line inactivation of the p85α-encoding gene Pik3r1 rescued diabetes and hepatic steatosis phenotypes of Kbtbd2-/- mice. Kbtbd2 was down-regulated in diet-induced obese insulin-resistant mice in a leptin-dependent manner. KBTBD2 is an essential regulator of the insulin-signaling pathway, modulating insulin sensitivity by limiting p85α abundance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E6418-E6426
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 18 2016


  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Kbtbd2
  • Ubiquitination
  • p85α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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