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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Nov;299(5):R1350-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00400.2010. Epub 2010 Aug 18.

PGC-1alpha increases PDH content but does not change acute PDH regulation in mouse skeletal muscle.

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Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism, August Krogh Bldg., Dept. of Biology, Universitetsparken 13, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The aim of this study was to test whether the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ coactivator (PGC)1α regulates the content of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH)-E1α and influences PDH activity through regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-4 (PDK4) expression and subsequently PDH phosphorylation. PGC-1α whole body knockout (KO), muscle-specific PGC-1α overexpressing mice (MCK PGC-1α), and littermate wild-type (WT) mice underwent two interventions known to affect PDH. Quadriceps muscles were removed from fed and 24-h fasted mice as well as at 6 h of recovery after 1-h running and from mice that did not run acutely. PDH-E1α protein content and PDH-E1α phosphorylation were lower in PGC-1α KO and higher in MCK PGC-1α mice at rest, but, while MCK PGC-1α had higher PDK4 protein content, KO of PGC-1α had no effect on PDK4 protein content. The differences in phosphorylation partly vanished when expressing phosphorylation relative to the PDH-E1α content with only a maintained elevated phosphorylation in MCK PGC-1α mice. Fasting upregulated PDK4 protein in PGC-1α KO, MCK PGC-1α and WT mice, but this was not consistently associated with increased PDH-E1α phosphorylation. Downregulation of the activity of PDH in the active form (PDHa) at 6-h recovery from exercise in both the PGC-1α KO and MCK PGC-1α mice and the association between PDH-E1α phosphorylation and PDHa activity in PGC-1α KO mice indicate that PGC-1α is not required for these responses. In conclusion, PGC-1α regulates PDH-E1α protein content in parallel with mitochondrial oxidative proteins, but does not seem to influence PDH regulation in mouse skeletal muscle in response to fasting and in recovery from exercise.

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