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Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Jun;21(11):3738-49.

Pgc-1-related coactivator, a novel, serum-inducible coactivator of nuclear respiratory factor 1-dependent transcription in mammalian cells.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


The thermogenic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) coactivator 1 (PGC-1) has previously been shown to activate mitochondrial biogenesis in part through a direct interaction with nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1). In order to identify related coactivators that act through NRF-1, we searched the databases for sequences with similarities to PGC-1. Here, we describe the first characterization of a 177-kDa transcriptional coactivator, designated PGC-1-related coactivator (PRC). PRC is ubiquitously expressed in murine and human tissues and cell lines; but unlike PGC-1, PRC was not dramatically up-regulated during thermogenesis in brown fat. However, its expression was down-regulated in quiescent BALB/3T3 cells and was rapidly induced by reintroduction of serum, conditions where PGC-1 was not detected. PRC activated NRF-1-dependent promoters in a manner similar to that observed for PGC-1. Moreover, NRF-1 was immunoprecipitated from cell extracts by antibodies directed against PRC, and both proteins were colocalized to the nucleoplasm by confocal laser scanning microscopy. PRC interacts in vitro with the NRF-1 DNA binding domain through two distinct recognition motifs that are separated by an unstructured proline-rich region. PRC also contains a potent transcriptional activation domain in its amino terminus adjacent to an LXXLL motif. The spatial arrangement of these functional domains coincides with those found in PGC-1, supporting the conclusion that PRC and PGC-1 are structurally and functionally related. We conclude that PRC is a functional relative of PGC-1 that operates through NRF-1 and possibly other activators in response to proliferative signals.

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