Review Article

CTRP family in diseases associated with inflammation and metabolism: molecular mechanisms and clinical implication

Huan Zhang1,2, Zi-yin Zhang-Sun1,2, Cheng-xu Xue1,2, Xi-yang Li1,2, Jun Ren3, Yu-ting Jiang1,2, Tong Liu1,2, Hai-rong Yao1,2, Juan Zhang1,2, Tian-tian Gou1,2, Ye Tian1,2, Wang-rui Lei1,2, Yang Yang1,2
1 Department of Cardiology, Xi’an No.3 Hospital/The Affiliated Hospital of Northwest University, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Northwest University, Xi’an 710021, China
2 Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China, Ministry of Education, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Northwest University, Xi’an 710069, China
3 Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
Correspondence to: Wang-rui Lei:, Yang Yang:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-022-00991-7
Received: 15 June 2022
Accepted: 27 August 2022
Advance online: 7 October 2022


C1q/tumor necrosis factor (TNF) related proteins (CTRPs) is a newly discovered adipokine family with conservative structure and ubiquitous distribution and is secreted by adipose tissues. Recently, CTRPs have attracted increasing attention due to the its wide- ranging effects upon inflammation and metabolism. To-date, 15 members of CTRPs (CTRP1-15) with the characteristic C1q domain have been characterized. Earlier in-depth phenotypic analyses of mouse models of CTRPs deficiency have also unveiled ample function of CTRPs in inflammation and metabolism. This review focuses on the rise of CTRPs, with a special emphasis on the latest discoveries with regards to the effects of the CTRP family on inflammation and metabolism as well as related diseases. We first introduced the structure of characteristic domain and polymerization of CTRPs to reveal its pleiotropic biological functions. Next, intimate association of CTRP family with inflammation and metabolism, as well as the involvement of CTRPs as nodes in complex molecular networks, were elaborated. With expanding membership of CTRP family, the information presented here provides new perspectives for therapeutic strategies to improve inflammatory and metabolic abnormalities.
Keywords: CTRPs; adipokine; inflammation; metabolism; atherosclerosis; heart diseases

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