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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jun 15;101(24):8912-7. Epub 2004 Jun 7.

Regulation of PPARgamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha) signaling by an estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRalpha) ligand.

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  • 1Department of Biology, X-Ceptor Therapeutics, Inc., San Diego, CA 92121, USA.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha) is a transcriptional coactivator that is a key component in the regulation of energy production and utilization in metabolic tissues. Recent work has identified PGC-1alpha as a strong coactivator of the orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRalpha), implicating ERRalpha as a potential mediator of PGC-1alpha action. To understand the role of ERRalpha in PGC-1alpha signaling, a parallel approach of high-throughput screening and gene-expression analysis was used to identify ERRalpha small-molecule regulators and target genes. We report here the identification of a potent and selective ERRalpha inverse agonist that interferes effectively with PGC-1alpha/ERRalpha-dependent signaling. This inverse agonist inhibits the constitutive activity of ERRalpha in both biochemical and cell-based assays. Also, we demonstrate that monoamine oxidase B is an ERRalpha target gene whose expression is regulated by PGC-1alpha and ERRalpha and inhibited by the ERRalpha inverse agonist. The discovery of potent and selective ERRalpha modulators and their effect on PGC-1alpha signaling provides mechanistic insight into gene regulation by PGC-1alpha. These findings validate ERRalpha as a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of metabolic disorders, including diabetes and obesity.

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