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Biochem Pharmacol. 2000 Oct 15;60(8):1027-32.

Regulation of the peroxisomal beta-oxidation-dependent pathway by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha and kinases.

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  • 1LBMC, University of Burgundy, 21000 Dijon, France. latruffe@u-bourgogne.fr


The first PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) was cloned in 1990 by Issemann and Green (Nature 347:645-650). This nuclear receptor was so named since it is activated by peroxisome proliferators including several drugs of the fibrate family, plasticizers, and herbicides. This receptor belongs to the steroid receptor superfamily. After activation by a specific ligand, it binds to a DNA response element, PPRE (peroxisome proliferator response element), which is a DR-1 direct repeat of the consensus sequence TGACCT x TGACCT. This mechanism leads to the transcriptional activation of target genes (Motojima et al., J Biol Chem 273:16710-16714, 1998). After the first discovery, several isoforms were characterized in most of the vertebrates investigated. PPAR alpha, activated by hypolipidemic agents of the fibrate family or by leukotrienes; regulates lipid metabolism as well as the detoxifying enzyme-encoding genes. PPAR beta/delta, which is not very well known yet, appears to be more specifically activated by fatty acids. PPAR gamma (subisoforms 1, 2, 3) is activated by the prostaglandin PGJ2 or by antidiabetic thiazolidinediones (Vamecq and Latruffe, Lancet 354:411-418, 1999). This latter isoform is involved in adipogenesis. The level of PPAR expression is largely dependent on the tissue type. PPAR alpha is mainly expressed in liver and kidney, while PPAR beta/delta is almost constitutively expressed. In contrast, PPAR gamma is largely expressed in white adipose tissue. PPAR is a transcriptional factor that requires other nuclear proteins in order to function, i.e. RXRalpha (9-cis-retinoic acid receptor alpha) in all cases in addition to other regulatory proteins. Peroxisomes are specific organelles for very long-chain and polyunsaturated fatty acid catabolism. From our results and those of others, the inventory of the role of PPAR alpha in the regulation of peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation is presented. In relation to this, we showed that PPAR alpha activates peroxisomal beta-oxidation-encoding genes such as acyl-CoA oxidase, multifunctional protein, and thiolase (Bardot et al., FEBS Lett 360:183-186, 1995). Moreover, rat liver PPAR alpha regulatory activity is dependent on its phosphorylated state (Passilly et al., Biochem Pharmacol 58:1001-1008, 1999). On the other hand, some signal transduction pathways such as protein kinase C are modified by peroxisome proliferators that increase the phosphorylation level of some specific proteins (Passilly et al. Eur J Biochem 230:316-321, 1995). From all these findings, PPAR alpha and kinases appear to play an important role in lipid homeostasis.

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