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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2000 Apr 25;162(1-2):57-67.

A PPARgamma mutant serves as a dominant negative inhibitor of PPAR signaling and is localized in the nucleus.

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Department of Molecular Endocrinology, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA.


The peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily that act as ligand-activated transcription factors. PPARgamma plays a critical role in regulating adipocyte differentiation and lipid metabolism. Recently, thiazolidinedione (TZD) and select non-TZD antidiabetic agents have been identified as PPARgamma agonists. To further characterize this receptor subclass, a mutant hPPARgamma lacking five carboxyl-terminal amino acids was produced (hPPARgamma2Delta500). In COS-1 cells transfected with PPAR-responsive reporter constructs, the mutant receptor could not be activated by a potent PPARgamma agonist. When cotransfected with hPPARgamma2 or hPPARalpha, hPPARgamma2Delta500 abrogated wild-type receptor activity in a dose-responsive manner. hPPARgamma2Delta500 was also impaired with respect to binding of a high-affinity radioligand. In addition, its conformation was unaffected by normally saturating concentrations of PPARgamma agonist as determined by protease protection experiments. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that hPPARgamma2Delta500 and hPPARgamma2 both formed heterodimeric complexes with human retinoidxreceptor alpha (hRXRalpha) and could bind a peroxisome proliferator-responsive element (PPRE) with similar affinity. Therefore, hPPARgamma2Delta500 appears to repress PPAR activity by competing with wild type receptor to dimerize with RXR and bind the PPRE. In addition, the mutant receptor may titrate out factors required for PPAR-regulated transcriptional activation. Both hPPARgamma2 and hPPARgamma2Delta500 localized to the nucleus of transiently transfected COS-1 cells as determined by immunofluorescence using a PPARgamma-specific antibody. Thus, nuclear localization of PPARgamma occurs independently of its activation state. The dominant negative mutant, hPPARgamma2Delta500, may prove useful in further studies to characterize PPAR functions both in vitro and in vivo.

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