Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a highly regulated transcriptional coactivator that coordinates energy metabolism in mammals. Misregulation of PGC-1α has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and neurological disorders. We identified SCF Cdc4 as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates PGC-1α through ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. PGC-1α contains two Cdc4 phosphodegrons that bind Cdc4 when phosphorylated by Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β (GSK3β) and p38 MAPK, leading to SCFCdc4-dependent ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of PGC-1α. Furthermore, SCFCdc4 negatively regulates PGC-1α-dependent transcription. We demonstrate that RNAi-mediated reduction of Cdc4 in primary neurons results in an increase of endogenous PGC-1α protein, while ectopic expression of Cdc4 leads to a reduction of endogenous PGC-1α protein. Finally, under conditions of oxidative stress in neurons, Cdc4 levels are decreased, leading to an increase in PGC-1α protein and PGC-1α-dependent transcription. These results suggest that attenuation of SCFCdc4-dependent proteasomal degradation of PGC-1α has a role in mediating the PGC-1α-dependent transcriptional response to oxidative stress.
- Oxidative stress
- Protein degradation
- Ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology