Increased hepatic glucose output and decreased glucose utilization are implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes. We previously reported that the expression of a novel gene, Tanis, was upregulated in the liver during fasting in the obese/diabetic animal model Psammomys obesus. Here, we have further studied the protein and its function. Cell fractionation indicated that Tanis was localized in the plasma membrane and microsomes but not in the nucleus, mitochondria, or soluble protein fraction. Consistent with previous gene expression data, hepatic Tanis protein levels increased more significantly in diabetic P. obesus than in nondiabetic controls after fasting. We used a recombinant adenovirus to increase Tanis expression in hepatoma H4IIE cells and investigated its role in metabolism. Tanis overexpression reduced glucose uptake, basal and insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis, and glycogen content and attenuated the suppression of PEPCK gene expression by insulin, but it did not affect insulin-stimulated insulin receptor phosphorylation or triglyceride synthesis. These results suggest that Tanis may be involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism, and increased expression of Tanis could contribute to insulin resistance in the liver.
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