βKlotho is required for fibroblast growth factor 21 effects on growth and metabolism.
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a fasting-induced hepatokine that has potent pharmacologic effects in mice, which include improving insulin sensitivity and blunting growth. The single-transmembrane protein βKlotho functions as a coreceptor for FGF21 in vitro. To determine if βKlotho is required for FGF21 action in vivo, we generated whole-body and adipose tissue-selective βKlotho-knockout mice. All of the effects of FGF21 on growth and metabolism were lost in whole-body βKlotho-knockout mice. Selective elimination of βKlotho in adipose tissue blocked the acute insulin-sensitizing effects of FGF21. Taken together, these data demonstrate that βKlotho is essential for FGF21 activity and that βKlotho in adipose tissue contributes to the beneficial metabolic actions of FGF21.