Tag Archive: lipid metabolism


We investigated the effects of PGC-1α (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α) overexpression on the oxidative capacity of human skeletal muscle cells ex vivo. PGC-1α overexpression increased the oxidation rate of palmitic acid and mRNA expression of genes regulating lipid metabolism, mitochondrial biogenesis, and function in human myotubes. Basal and insulin-stimulated deoxyglucose uptake were decreased, possibly due to upregulation of PDK4 mRNA. Expression of fast fiber-type gene marker (MHCIIa) was decreased. Compared to skeletal muscle in vivo, PGC-1α overexpression increased expression of several genes, which were downregulated during the process of cell isolation and culturing. In conclusion, PGC-1α overexpression increased oxidative capacity of cultured myotubes by improving lipid metabolism, increasing expression of genes involved in regulation of mitochondrial function and biogenesis, and decreasing expression of MHCIIa. These results suggest that therapies aimed at increasing PGC-1α expression may have utility in treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases.



Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC)-1α has been shown to play critical roles in regulating mitochondria biogenesis, respiration, and muscle oxidative phenotype. Furthermore, reductions in the expression of PGC-1α in muscle have been implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. To determine the effect of increased muscle-specific PGC-1α expression on muscle mitochondrial function and glucose and lipid metabolism in vivo, we examined body composition, energy balance, and liver and muscle insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies and muscle energetics by using 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy in transgenic mice. Increased expression of PGC-1α in muscle resulted in a 2.4-fold increase in mitochondrial density, which was associated with an ≈60% increase in the unidirectional rate of ATP synthesis. Surprisingly, there was no effect of increased muscle PGC-1α expression on whole-body energy expenditure, and PGC-1α transgenic mice were more prone to fat-induced insulin resistance because of decreased insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake. The reduced insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake could most likely be attributed to a relative increase in fatty acid delivery/triglyceride reesterfication, as reflected by increased expression of CD36, acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase1, and mitochondrial acyl-CoA:glycerol-sn-3-phosphate acyltransferase, that may have exceeded mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, resulting in increased intracellular lipid accumulation and an increase in the membrane to cytosol diacylglycerol content. This, in turn, caused activation of PKCθ, decreased insulin signaling at the level of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) tyrosine phosphorylation, and skeletal muscle insulin resistance.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/50/19926.full.pdf+html