Brown fat Dnmt3b deficiency ameliorates obesity in female mice

Fenfen Li, Xin Cui, Jia Jing, Shirong Wang, Huidong Shi, Bingzhong Xue, Hang Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Obesity results from a chronic energy imbalance due to energy intake exceeding energy expenditure. Activation of brown fat thermogenesis has been shown to combat obesity. Epigenetic regulation, including DNA methylation, has emerged as a key regulator of brown fat thermogenic function. Here we aimed to study the role of Dnmt3b, a DNA methyltransferase involved in de novo DNA methylation, in the regulation of brown fat thermogenesis and obesity. We found that the specific deletion of Dnmt3b in brown fat promotes the thermogenic and mitochondrial program in brown fat, enhances energy expenditure, and decreases adiposity in female mice fed a regular chow diet. With a lean phenotype, the female knockout mice also exhibit increased insulin sensitivity. In addition, Dnmt3b deficiency in brown fat also prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in female mice. Interestingly, our RNA-seq analysis revealed an upregulation of the PI3K-Akt pathway in the brown fat of female Dnmt3b knockout mice. However, male Dnmt3b knockout mice have no change in their body weight, suggesting the existence of sexual dimorphism in the brown fat Dnmt3b knockout model. Our data demonstrate that Dnmt3b plays an important role in the regulation of brown fat function, energy metabolism and obesity in female mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1325
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Brown adipocytes
  • Dnmt3b
  • Obesity
  • Thermogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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