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Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Feb;27(2):366-80. doi: 10.1210/me.2012-1324. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Research resource: tissue- and pathway-specific metabolomic profiles of the steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The rapidly growing family of transcriptional coregulators includes coactivators that promote transcription and corepressors that harbor the opposing function. In recent years, coregulators have emerged as important regulators of metabolic homeostasis, including the p160 steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family. Members of the SRC family have been ascribed important roles in control of gluconeogenesis, fat absorption and storage in the liver, and fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. To provide a deeper and more granular understanding of the metabolic impact of the SRC family members, we performed targeted metabolomic analyses of key metabolic byproducts of glucose, fatty acid, and amino acid metabolism in mice with global knockouts (KOs) of SRC-1, SRC-2, or SRC-3. We measured amino acids, acyl carnitines, and organic acids in five tissues with key metabolic functions (liver, heart, skeletal muscle, brain, plasma) isolated from SRC-1, -2, or -3 KO mice and their wild-type littermates under fed and fasted conditions, thereby unveiling unique metabolic functions of each SRC. Specifically, SRC-1 ablation revealed the most significant impact on hepatic metabolism, whereas SRC-2 appeared to impact cardiac metabolism. Conversely, ablation of SRC-3 primarily affected brain and skeletal muscle metabolism. Surprisingly, we identified very few metabolites that changed universally across the three SRC KO models. The findings of this Research Resource demonstrate that coactivator function has very limited metabolic redundancy even within the homologous SRC family. Furthermore, this work also demonstrates the use of metabolomics as a means for identifying novel metabolic regulatory functions of transcriptional coregulators.

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