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      PGC-1α Deficiency Causes Multi-System Energy Metabolic Derangements: Muscle Dysfunction, Abnormal Weight Control and Hepatic Steatosis

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          The gene encoding the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) was targeted in mice. PGC-1α null (PGC-1α −/−) mice were viable. However, extensive phenotyping revealed multi-system abnormalities indicative of an abnormal energy metabolic phenotype. The postnatal growth of heart and slow-twitch skeletal muscle, organs with high mitochondrial energy demands, is blunted in PGC-1α −/− mice. With age, the PGC-1α −/− mice develop abnormally increased body fat, a phenotype that is more severe in females. Mitochondrial number and respiratory capacity is diminished in slow-twitch skeletal muscle of PGC-1α −/− mice, leading to reduced muscle performance and exercise capacity. PGC-1α −/− mice exhibit a modest diminution in cardiac function related largely to abnormal control of heart rate. The PGC-1α −/− mice were unable to maintain core body temperature following exposure to cold, consistent with an altered thermogenic response. Following short-term starvation, PGC-1α −/− mice develop hepatic steatosis due to a combination of reduced mitochondrial respiratory capacity and an increased expression of lipogenic genes. Surprisingly, PGC-1α −/− mice were less susceptible to diet-induced insulin resistance than wild-type controls. Lastly, vacuolar lesions were detected in the central nervous system of PGC-1α −/− mice. These results demonstrate that PGC-1α is necessary for appropriate adaptation to the metabolic and physiologic stressors of postnatal life.


          Eliminating the activity of the gene PGC-1 α in mice reveals its role in post-natal metabolism and provides a link to obesity and some intriguing differences with another report of this knockout

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          Most cited references 41

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          Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 promotes cardiac mitochondrial biogenesis.

          Cardiac mitochondrial function is altered in a variety of inherited and acquired cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies have identified the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 (PGC-1) as a regulator of mitochondrial function in tissues specialized for thermogenesis, such as brown adipose. We sought to determine whether PGC-1 controlled mitochondrial biogenesis and energy-producing capacity in the heart, a tissue specialized for high-capacity ATP production. We found that PGC-1 gene expression is induced in the mouse heart after birth and in response to short-term fasting, conditions known to increase cardiac mitochondrial energy production. Forced expression of PGC-1 in cardiac myocytes in culture induced the expression of nuclear and mitochondrial genes involved in multiple mitochondrial energy-transduction/energy-production pathways, increased cellular mitochondrial number, and stimulated coupled respiration. Cardiac-specific overexpression of PGC-1 in transgenic mice resulted in uncontrolled mitochondrial proliferation in cardiac myocytes leading to loss of sarcomeric structure and a dilated cardiomyopathy. These results identify PGC-1 as a critical regulatory molecule in the control of cardiac mitochondrial number and function in response to energy demands.
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            Transcriptional regulatory circuits controlling mitochondrial biogenesis and function.

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              The coactivator PGC-1 cooperates with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha in transcriptional control of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation enzymes.

              Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) plays a key role in the transcriptional control of genes encoding mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation (FAO) enzymes. In this study we sought to determine whether the recently identified PPAR gamma coactivator 1 (PGC-1) is capable of coactivating PPARalpha in the transcriptional control of genes encoding FAO enzymes. Mammalian cell cotransfection experiments demonstrated that PGC-1 enhanced PPARalpha-mediated transcriptional activation of reporter plasmids containing PPARalpha target elements. PGC-1 also enhanced the transactivation activity of a PPARalpha-Gal4 DNA binding domain fusion protein. Retroviral vector-mediated expression studies performed in 3T3-L1 cells demonstrated that PPARalpha and PGC-1 cooperatively induced the expression of PPARalpha target genes and increased cellular palmitate oxidation rates. Glutathione S-transferase "pulldown" studies revealed that in contrast to the previously reported ligand-independent interaction with PPARgamma, PGC-1 binds PPARalpha in a ligand-influenced manner. Protein-protein interaction studies and mammalian cell hybrid experiments demonstrated that the PGC-1-PPARalpha interaction involves an LXXLL domain in PGC-1 and the PPARalpha AF2 region, consistent with the observed ligand influence. Last, the PGC-1 transactivation domain was mapped to within the NH(2)-terminal 120 amino acids of the PGC-1 molecule, a region distinct from the PPARalpha interacting domains. These results identify PGC-1 as a coactivator of PPARalpha in the transcriptional control of mitochondrial FAO capacity, define separable PPARalpha interaction and transactivation domains within the PGC-1 molecule, and demonstrate that certain features of the PPARalpha-PGC-1 interaction are distinct from that of PPARgamma-PGC-1.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS Biol
                PLoS Biology
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                April 2005
                15 March 2005
                : 3
                : 4
                1Center for Cardiovascular Research, Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MissouriUnited States of America
                2Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MissouriUnited States of America
                3Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics, Division of Endocrinology Metabolism and Diabetes, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UtahUnited States of America
                4Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MissouriUnited States of America
                5Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University Manhattan, KansasUnited States of America
                6Department of Pathology, Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MissouriUnited States of America
                7Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MissouriUnited States of America
                8Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MissouriUnited States of America
                University of Cambridge United Kingdom
                Copyright: © 2005 Leone et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
                Research Article
                Genetics/Genomics/Gene Therapy
                Mus (Mouse)

                Life sciences


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