, Volume 52, Issue 10, pp 2182-2189,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Aug 2009

Regulation of skeletal muscle sucrose, non-fermenting 1/AMP-activated protein kinase-related kinase (SNARK) by metabolic stress and diabetes

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Sucrose, non-fermenting 1/AMP-activated protein kinase-related kinase (SNARK) is involved in cellular stress responses linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. We determined the role of SNARK in response to metabolic stress and insulin action on glucose and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle.

Methods

Vastus lateralis skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from normal glucose tolerant (n = 35) and type 2 diabetic (n = 31) men and women for SNARK expression studies. Primary myotube cultures were derived from biopsies obtained from normal glucose tolerant individuals for metabolic studies.

Results

SNARK (also known as NUAK2) mRNA expression was unaltered between normal glucose tolerant individuals and type 2 diabetic patients. SNARK expression was increased in skeletal muscle from obese (BMI >31 kg/m2) normal glucose tolerant individuals and type 2 diabetic patients (1.4- and 1.4-fold, respectively, p < 0.05) vs overweight (BMI <28 kg/m2) normal glucose tolerant individuals and type 2 diabetic patients. SNARK mRNA was increased in myotubes exposed to palmitate (12-fold; p < 0.01), or TNF-α (25-fold, p < 0.05), but not to oleate, glucose or IL-6, whereas expression of the AMP-activated protein kinase α2 subunit was unaltered. Small interfering (si)RNA against SNARK reduced mRNA and protein in myotubes by 61% and 60%, respectively (p < 0.05). SNARK siRNA was without effect on basal or insulin-stimulated glucose uptake or lipid oxidation, and insufficient to rescue TNF-α- or palmitate-induced insulin resistance.

Conclusions/interpretation

Skeletal muscle SNARK expression is increased in human obesity, and in response to metabolic stressors, but not type 2 diabetes. Partial SNARK depletion failed to modify either glucose or lipid metabolism, or protect against TNF-α- or palmitate-induced insulin resistance in primary human myotubes.