A functional role for the p62-ERK1 axis in the control of energy homeostasis and adipogenesis.
In vivo genetic inactivation of the signalling adapter p62 leads to mature-onset obesity and insulin resistance, which correlate with reduced energy expenditure (EE) and increased adipogenesis, without alterations in feeding or locomotor functions. Enhanced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity in adipose tissue from p62-knockout (p62(-/-)) mice, and differentiating fibroblasts, suggested an important role for this kinase in the metabolic alterations of p62(-/-) mice. Here, we show that genetic inactivation of ERK1 in p62(-/-) mice reverses their increased adiposity and adipogenesis, lower EE and insulin resistance. These results establish genetically that p62 is a crucial regulator of ERK1 in metabolism.