Human adenovirus Ad36 and its E4orf1 gene enhance cellular glucose uptake even in the presence of inflammatory cytokines

Ha Na Na, Olga Dubuisson, Vijay Hegde, Jae Hwan Nam, Nikhil V. Dhurandhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Aging and obesity are associated with elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines such as monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, which are linked to insulin resistance. Anti-inflammatory agents have marginal effect in improving insulin resistance. Hence, agents are needed to improve glycemic control despite the inflammation. Ad36, a human adenovirus, increases TNFα and MCP1 mRNA in adipose tissue, yet improves glycemic control in mice. Ad36 via its E4orf1 gene, up-regulates AKT/glucose transporter (Glut)-4 signaling to enhance cellular glucose uptake. Objective Directly test a role of Ad36, or E4orf1 in enhancing cellular glucose uptake in presence of inflammatory cytokines. Methods Experiment 1: 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with 0, 10 or 100 ng/mL lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and infected with 0 or 5 plaque forming units (PFU) of Ad36/cell. 3T3-L1 cells that stably and inducibly express E4orf1 or a null vector (pTRE-E4orf1 or pTRE-null cells), were similarly treated with LPS and then with doxycycline, to induce E4orf1. Experiment 2: 3T3L1 preadipocytes were treated with 25 nM MCP1 or 20 nM TNFα for 16 h, followed by infection with 0 or 5 PFU of Ad36/cell. Experiment 3: pTRE-E4orf1 or -null cells were similarly treated with MCP1 or TNFα followed by doxycycline to induce E4orf1. Cellular glucose uptake and cellular signaling were determined 72 h post-Ad36 infection or E4orf1-induction, in continued presence of MCP1 or TNFα. Results In 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, Ad36, but not E4orf1, increased MCP1 and TNFα mRNA, in presence of LPS stimulation. Ad36 or E4orf1 up-regulated AKT-phosphorylation and Glut4 and increased glucose uptake (P < 0.05) in the presence of MCP1 or TNFα. Conclusions Unlike Ad36, E4orf1 does not appear to stimulate inflammatory response. Ad36 and E4orf1 both enhance cellular glucose uptake even in presence of inflammation. Further research is needed to harness this novel and beneficial property of E4orf1 to improve hyperglycemia despite chronic inflammation that is commonly present in aging and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • 3T3-L1
  • Adipocytes
  • Glycemic control
  • MCP1
  • Preadipocytes
  • TNFα


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