Author(s): Cant C, Auwerx J
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1-alpha (PGC-1alpha) has been extensively described as a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. However, PGC-1alpha activity is not constant and can be finely tuned in response to different metabolic situations. From this point of view, PGC-1alpha could be described as a mediator of the transcriptional outputs triggered by metabolic sensors, providing the idea that these sensors, together with PGC-1alpha, might be weaving a network controlling cellular energy expenditure. In this review, we will focus on how disorders such as type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome might be related to an abnormal and improper function of this network. RECENT FINDINGS: Two metabolic sensors, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and SIRT1 have been described to directly affect PGC-1alpha activity through phosphorylation and deacetylation, respectively. Although the physiological relevance of these modifications and their molecular consequences are still largely unknown, recent insight from different in-vivo transgenic models clearly suggests that AMPK, SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha might act as an orchestrated network to improve metabolic fitness. SUMMARY: Metabolic sensors such as AMPK and SIRT1, gatekeepers of the activity of the master regulator of mitochondria, PGC-1alpha, are vital links in a regulatory network for metabolic homeostasis. Together, these players explain many of the beneficial effects of physical activity and dietary interventions in our battle against type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Hence, understanding the mechanisms by which they act could guide us to identify and improve preventive and therapeutic strategies for metabolic diseases.
This article was published in Curr Opin Lipidol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry