Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) induces PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) gene expression and contributes to thermogenic activation of brown fat: involvement of PRDM16

Elayne Hondares, Meritxell Rosell, Julieta Díaz-Delfín, Yolanda Olmos, Maria Monsalve, Roser Iglesias, Francesc Villarroya, Marta Giralt
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2011 December 16, 286 (50): 43112-22
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α (PPARα) is a distinctive marker of the brown fat phenotype that has been proposed to coordinate the transcriptional activation of genes for lipid oxidation and for thermogenic uncoupling protein 1 in brown adipose tissue. Here, we investigated the involvement of PPARα in the transcriptional control of the PPARγ coactivator (PGC)-1α gene. Treatment with PPARα agonists induced PGC-1α mRNA expression in brown fat in vivo and in primary brown adipocytes. This enhancement of PGC-1α transcription was mediated by PPARα binding to a PPAR-responsive element in the distal PGC-1α gene promoter. PGC-1α gene expression was decreased in PPARα-null brown fat, both under basal conditions and in response to thermogenic activation. Moreover, PPARα- and cAMP-mediated pathways interacted to control PGC-1α transcription. PRDM16 (PRD1-BF1-RIZ1 homologous domain-containing 16) promoted PPARα induction of PGC-1α gene transcription, especially under conditions in which protein kinase A pathways were activated. This enhancement was associated with the interaction of PRDM16 with the PGC-1α promoter at the PPARα-binding site. In addition, PPARα promoted the expression of the PRDM16 gene in brown adipocytes, and activation of PPARα in human white adipocytes led to the appearance of a brown adipocyte pattern of gene expression, including induction of PGC-1α and PRDM16. Collectively, these results suggest that PPARα acts as a key component of brown fat thermogenesis by coordinately regulating lipid catabolism and thermogenic gene expression via induction of PGC-1α and PRDM16.

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