[Nature Cell Biology] AIDA directly connects sympathetic innervation to adaptive thermogenesis by UCP1
Abstract: The sympathetic nervous system–catecholamine–uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) axis plays an essential role in non-shivering adaptive thermogenesis. However, whether there exists a direct effector that physically connects catecholamine signalling to UCP1 in response to acute cold is unknown. Here we report that outer mitochondrial membrane-located AIDA is phosphorylated at S161 by the catecholamine-activated protein kinase A (PKA). Phosphorylated AIDA translocates to the intermembrane space, where it binds to and activates the uncoupling activity of UCP1 by promoting cysteine oxidation of UCP1. Adipocyte-specific depletion of AIDA abrogates UCP1-dependent thermogenesis, resulting in hypothermia during acute cold exposure. Re-expression of S161A-AIDA, unlike wild-type AIDA, fails to restore the acute cold response in Aida-knockout mice. The PKA–AIDA–UCP1 axis is highly conserved in mammals, including hibernators. Denervation of the sympathetic postganglionic fibres abolishes cold-induced AIDA-dependent thermogenesis. These findings uncover a direct mechanistic link between sympathetic input and UCP1-mediated adaptive thermogenesis.