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Exercise-activated hepatic autophagy via the FN1-α5β1 integrin pathway drives metabolic benefits of exercise
Kenta Kuramoto 1, Huijia Liang 1, Jung-Hwa Hong 1, Congcong He 2
How exercise elicits systemic metabolic benefits in both muscles and non-contractile tissues is unclear. Autophagy is a stress-induced lysosomal degradation pathway that mediates protein and organelle turnover and metabolic adaptation. Exercise activates autophagy in not only contracting muscles but also non-contractile tissues including the liver. However, the role and mechanism of exercise-activated autophagy in non-contractile tissues remain mysterious. Here, we show that hepatic autophagy activation is essential for exercise-induced metabolic benefits. Plasma or serum from exercised mice is sufficient to activate autophagy in cells. By proteomic studies, we identify fibronectin (FN1), which was previously considered as an extracellular matrix protein, as an exercise-induced, muscle-secreted, autophagy-inducing circulating factor. Muscle-secreted FN1 mediates exercise-induced hepatic autophagy and systemic insulin sensitization via the hepatic receptor α5β1 integrin and the downstream IKKα/β-JNK1-BECN1 pathway. Thus, we demonstrate that hepatic autophagy activation drives exercise-induced metabolic benefits against diabetes via muscle-secreted soluble FN1 and hepatic α5β1 integrin signaling.