A murine model of the human CREBRF R457Q obesity-risk variant does not influence energy or glucose homeostasis in response to nutritional stress

Obesity and diabetes have strong heritable components, yet the genetic contributions to these diseases remain largely unexplained. In humans, a missense variant in Creb3 regulatory factor (CREBRF) [rs373863828 (p.Arg457Gln); CREBRF ] is strongly associated with increased odds of obesity but decreased odds of diabetes. Although virtually nothing is known about CREBRF’s mechanism of action, emerging evidence implicates it in the adaptive transcriptional response to nutritional stress downstream of TORC1. The objectives of this study were to generate a murine model with knockin of the orthologous variant in mice (CREBRF ) and to test the hypothesis that this CREBRF variant promotes obesity and protects against diabetes by regulating energy and glucose homeostasis downstream of TORC1. To test this hypothesis, we performed extensive phenotypic analysis of CREBRF knockin mice at baseline and in response to acute (fasting/refeeding), chronic (low- and high-fat diet feeding), and extreme (prolonged fasting) nutritional stress as well as with pharmacological TORC1 inhibition, and aging to 52 weeks. The results demonstrate that the murine CREBRF model of the human CREBRF variant does not influence energy/glucose homeostasis in response to these interventions, with the exception of possible greater loss of fat relative to lean mass with age. Alternative preclinical models and/or studies in humans will be required to decipher the mechanisms linking this variant to human health and disease.
Ashlee N. Wood, Gabriele Schoiswohl, Anna C. Meyer, Aneta Kowalski, obesity-risk, diabetes, ACE: Genetic Medicine, WAGMC, University of Ghana, Ghana
Kanshana JS, Mattila PE, Ewing MC, Wood AN, Schoiswohl G, Meyer AC, et al. (2021) A murine model of the human CREBRF obesity-risk variant does not influence energy or glucose homeostasis in response to nutritional stress. PLoS ONE 16(9): e0251895. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0251895