Ad libitum high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity leads to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, altered gene expression, and altered growth signaling, all of which contributes to pathological changes in metabolism. Liver kinase B1 (LKB1) is an important metabolism regulator. The purpose of this dissertation was to understand how knocking out LKB1 influences HFD induced adaptations in mouse skeletal muscle. To do so, control and skeletal muscle LKB1 knock-out (LKB1-KO) mice were put on either standard diet (STD) or HFD for 1 week or 14 weeks, or put on the HFD for 14 weeks and then switched to STD for 1 week (switched diet). The major differences in adaptation in the LKB1-KO mice include: 1) lower fasting blood glucose levels but impaired glucose tolerance compared to WT mice (although conflicting results are generated if the data is not normalized to fasting blood glucose levels), 2) altered expression of 16 HFD-induced genes, and 3) decreased muscle weight. The lower fasting blood glucose in LKB1-KO mice was likely due to elevated serum insulin levels, and the impaired glucose tolerance was associated with decreased phosphorylation of TBC1D1, an important regulator of insulin stimulated glucose uptake. 16 potential important target genes (metabolism, mitochondrial, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, cell-cell interactions, enzyme, ion channel) were identified in the context of HFD feeding and LKB1-KO. These genes were quantified by RT-PCR and grouped according to changes in their patterns of expression among the different groups. Among several other interesting changes in gene expression, the muscle growth-related protein, Ky was not affected by short-term HFD, but increased after long-term HFD, and did not decrease after switched diet, showing that its expression may be an important long-term adaptation to HFD. LKB1-KO promoted anabolic signaling through increasing t-eIF2α and eIF4E expression, and promoted protein degradation through increasing protein ubiquitination. Because the degradation is the main effect and lead to muscle weight decrease. The effect of HFD and/or LKB1-KO on the LKB1-AMPK system was also determined. The results showed that knocking-out LKB1 decreased AMPK activity, decreased nuclear distribution for AMPK α2 and increased AMPK α1 expression. Long-term HFD increased t-AMPK expression in LKB1-KO mice, decreased the cytoplasm p-AMPK and nuclear p/t-AMPK ratio in CON mice. Together the findings of this dissertation demonstrated HFD induced glucose/insulin tolerance, while LKB1-KO had a controversial effect on glucose/insulin sensitivity. Both HFD and LKB1-KO affect AMPK expression and cellular location, while LKB1-KO also affects AMPK activity. LKB1-KO promoted protein degradation through ubiquitination in skeletal muscle.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Physiology and Developmental Biology



Date Submitted


Document Type





high-fat diet, LKB1, skeletal muscle, AMPK, insulin/glucose tolerance test, GLUT4



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Physiology Commons