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Cell Metab. 2008 Aug;8(2):105-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.06.013.

Genome-wide coactivation analysis of PGC-1alpha identifies BAF60a as a regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism.

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Life Sciences Institute and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Impaired mitochondrial function has been implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and neurodegeneration as well as during aging. Studies with the PGC-1 transcriptional coactivators have demonstrated that these factors are central components of the regulatory network that controls mitochondrial function in mammalian cells. Here we describe a genome-wide coactivation assay to globally identify transcription factors and cofactors in this pathway. These analyses revealed a molecular signature of the PGC-1alpha transcriptional network and identified BAF60a (SMARCD1) as a molecular link between the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes and hepatic lipid metabolism. Adenoviral-mediated expression of BAF60a stimulates fatty acid beta-oxidation in cultured hepatocytes and ameliorates hepatic steatosis in vivo. PGC-1alpha mediates the recruitment of BAF60a to PPARalpha-binding sites, leading to transcriptional activation of peroxisomal and mitochondrial fat-oxidation genes. These results define a role for the SWI/SNF complexes in the regulation of lipid homeostasis.

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