The transcriptional coactivator PGC-1 regulates the expression and activity of the orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα)

Sylvia N. Schreiber, Darko Knutti, Kathrin Brogli, Thomas Uhlmann, Anastasia Kralli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα) is one of the first orphan nuclear receptors identified. Still, we know little about the mechanisms that regulate its expression and its activity. In this study, we show that the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1, which is implicated in the control of energy metabolism, regulates ERRα at two levels. First, PGC-1 induces the expression of ERRα. Consistent with this induction, levels of ERRα mRNA in vivo are highest in PGC-1 expressing tissues, such as heart, kidney, and muscle, and up-regulated in response to signals that induce PGC-1, such as exposure to cold. Second, PGC-1 interacts physically with ERRα and enables it to activate transcription. Strikingly, we find that PGC-1 converts ERRα from a factor with little or no transcriptional activity to a potent regulator of gene expression, suggesting that ERRα is not a constitutively active nuclear receptor but rather one that is regulated by protein ligands, such as PGC-1. Our findings suggest that the two proteins act in a common pathway to regulate processes relating to energy metabolism. In support of this hypothesis, adenovirus-mediated delivery of small interfering RNA for ERRα, or of PGC-1 mutants that interact selectively with different types of nuclear receptors, shows that PGC-1 can induce the fatty acid oxidation enzyme MCAD (medium-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase) in an ERRα-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9013-9018
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume278
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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