A unique role of carboxylesterase 3 (CES3) in b-adrenergic signaling–stimulated thermogenesis

Li Yang, Xin Li, Hui Tang, Zhanguo Gao, Kangling Zhang, Kai Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Carboxylesterase 3 (Ces3) is a hydrolase with a wide range of activities in liver and adipose tissue. In this study, we identified Ces3 as a major lipid droplet surface-targeting protein in adipose tissue upon cold exposure by liquid chromatography—tandem mass spectrometry. To investigate the function of Ces3 in the b-adrenergic signaling–activated adipocytes, we applied WWL229, a specific Ces3 inhibitor, or genetic inhibition by siRNA to Ces3 on isoproterenol (ISO)–treated 3T3-L1 and brown adipocyte cells. We found that blockage of Ces3 by WWL229 or siRNA dramatically attenuated the ISO-induced lipolytic effect in the cells. Furthermore, Ces3 inhibition led to impaired mitochondrial function measured by Seahorse. Interestingly, Ces3 inhibition attenuated an ISO-induced thermogenic program in adipocytes by downregulating Ucp1 and Pgc1a genes via peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor g. We further confirmed the effects of Ces3 inhibition in vivo by showing that the thermogenesis in adipose tissues was significantly attenuated in WWL229-treated or adipose tissue–specific Ces3 heterozygous knockout (Adn-Cre-Ces3flx/wt) mice. As a result, the mice exhibited dramatically impaired ability to defend their body temperature in coldness. In conclusion, our study highlights a lipolytic signaling induced by Ces3 as a unique process to regulate thermogenesis in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1196
Number of pages19
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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