Glycogen is an energy storage depot for the mammalian species. This review focuses on recent developments that have identified the role of nuclear hormone receptor (NR) signaling and epigenomic control in the regulation of important genes that modulate glycogen metabolism. Specifically, new studies have revealed that the NR4A subgroup (of the NR superfamily) are strikingly sensitive to beta-adrenergic stimulation in skeletal muscle, and transgenic studies in mice have revealed the expression of these NRs affects endurance and glycogen levels in muscle. Furthermore, other studies have demonstrated that one of the NR coregulator class of enzymes that mediate chromatin remodeling, the histone methyltransferases (for example, protein arginine methyltransferase 4) regulates the expression of several genes involved in glycogen metabolism and glycogen storage diseases in skeletal muscle. Importantly, NRs and histone methyltransferases, have the potential to be pharmacologically exploited and may provide novel targets in the quest to treat disorders of glycogen storage.
We demonstrate that chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor II (COUP-TFII) mRNA is more abundantly expressed (than COUP-TFI mRNA) in skeletal muscle C2C12 cells and in (type I and II) skeletal muscle tissue from C57BL/10 mice. Consequently, we have utilized the ABI TaqMan Low Density Array (TLDA) platform to analyze gene expression changes specifically attributable to ectopic COUP-TFII (relative to vector only) expression in muscle cells. Utilizing a TLDA-based platform and 5 internal controls, we analyze the entire NR superfamily, 96 critical metabolic genes, and 48 important myogenic regulatory genes on the TLDA platform utilizing 5 internal controls. The low density arrays were analyzed by rigorous statistical analysis (with Genorm normalization, Bioconductor R, and the Empirical Bayes statistic) using the (integromics) statminer software. In addition, we validated the differentially expressed patho-physiologically relevant gene (identified on the TLDA platform) glucose transporter type 4 (Glut4). We demonstrated that COUP-TFII expression increased the steady state levels of Glut4 mRNA and protein, while ectopic expression of truncated COUP-TFII lacking helix 12 (COUP-TF?H12) reduced Glut4 mRNA expression in C2C12 cells. Moreover, COUP-TFII expression trans-activated the Glut4 promoter (-997/+3), and ChIP analysis identified selective recruitment of COUP-TFII to a region encompassing a highly conserved SP1 binding site (in mouse, rat, and human) at nt positions -131/-118. Mutation of the SpI site ablated COUP-TFII mediated trans-activation of the Glut4 promoter. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that in skeletal muscle cells, COUP-TFII regulates several nuclear hormone receptors, and critical metabolic and muscle specific genes.
Estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) are constitutively active orphan nuclear receptors. Natural ligands have not been identified, however, recent reports have demonstrated the synthetic phenolic acyl hydrazone, GSK4716, functions as a selective ERRbeta/gamma agonist. We demonstrate that ERRbeta is transiently induced, and ERRgamma is dramatically induced (and accumulates) in a differentiation-dependent manner in skeletal muscle cells. Treatment of differentiated skeletal muscle cells with the ERRbeta/gamma agonist (GSK4716) produced a significant increase in the expression of GRalpha (isoform D) protein. Quantitative RT-PCR (Q-RT-PCR) analysis after treatment with GSK4716, revealed induction of the mRNAs encoding the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1), the enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to cortisol and hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase expression (H6PDH) that stimulates oxoreduction by 11beta-HSD1. Candidate based expression profiling also demonstrated the mRNAs encoding characterized GR target genes, including C/EBP, ApoD and Monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) are induced in GSK4716 treated cells. In concordance with these observations, siRNA-mediated suppression of the mRNA encoding ERRgamma (but not ERRalpha and beta) attenuated the expression of mRNAs encoding GR, 11betaHSD1 and GR target gene(s). Similarly, treatment with the ERRgamma (and ERalpha) antagonist diethylstilbestrol (DES) suppressed glucocorticoid responsive gene expression in skeletal muscle cells. Interestingly, we observed that GSK4716 trans-activated GRE-TK-LUC in a GR-dependent manner. This study highlights the regulatory crosstalk between ERRgamma and GR signaling in skeletal muscle cells, and suggests the ERRgamma agonist modulates the expression of critical genes that control GR signaling and glucocorticoid sensitive gene expression.
The nuclear hormone receptor (NR) 4A subgroup of orphan nuclear receptors includes three members, Nur77 (NR4A1), Nurr1 (NR4A2) and Nor-1 (NR4A3). Previously we have identified the rapid and robust (in vitro and in vivo) induction of the NR4A subgroup following beta-adrenergic stimulation in mouse skeletal muscle. This was concomitant with changes in the expression of genes involved in the regulation of nutrient metabolism. We have isolated mouse tissue of cardiovascular, endocrine and gastrointestinal origin at 1, 4, 8 and 24h after a single intraperitoneal injection of the beta-adrenergic agonist, isoprenaline. We similarly identified the significant induction (between 1 and 4h) of the NR4A genes in many of these tissues. Moreover, we have utilized TaqMan((R)) Low Density Arrays to determine the beta-adrenergic-sensitive metabolic gene expression in liver, white adipose and heart. In summary, cross-talk between beta-adrenergic and NR4A signaling occurs in several tissues, and is accompanied by modulation of metabolic gene expression.
CARM1 (co-activator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1)/PRMT4 (protein arginine methyltransferase 4), functions as a co-activator for transcription factors that are regulators of muscle fibre type and oxidative metabolism, including PGC (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor ? co-activator)-1? and MEF2 (myocyte enhancer factor 2). We observed significantly higher Prmt4 mRNA expression in comparison with Prmt1-Prmt6 mRNA expression in mouse muscle (in vitro and in vivo). Transfection of Prmt4 siRNA (small interfering RNA) into mouse skeletal muscle C2C12 cells attenuated PRMT4 mRNA and protein expression. We subsequently performed additional qPCR (quantitative PCR) analysis (in the context of metabolism) to examine the effect of Prmt4 siRNA expression on >200 critical genes that control (and are involved in) lipid, glucose and energy homoeostasis, and circadian rhythm. This analysis revealed a strikingly specific metabolic expression footprint, and revealed that PRMT4 is necessary for the expression of genes involved in glycogen metabolism in skeletal muscle cells. Prmt4 siRNA expression selectively suppressed the mRNAs encoding Gys1 (glycogen synthase 1), Pgam2 (muscle phosphoglycerate mutase 2) and Pygm (muscle glycogen phosphorylase). Significantly, PGAM, PYGM and GYS1 deficiency in humans causes glycogen storage diseases type X, type V/McArdles disease and type 0 respectively. Attenuation of PRMT4 was also associated with decreased expression of the mRNAs encoding AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) ?2/?3 (Prkaa2 and Prkag3) and p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase), previously implicated in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and Pompe Disease (glycogen storage disease type II). Furthermore, stable transfection of two PRMT4-site-specific (methyltransferase deficient) mutants (CARM1/PRMT4 VLD and CARM1E267Q) significantly repressed the expression of Gys1, Pgam2 and AMPK?3. Finally, in concordance, we observed increased and decreased glycogen levels in PRMT4 (native)- and VLD (methylation deficient mutant)-transfected skeletal muscle cells respectively. This demonstrated that PRMT4 expression and the associated methyltransferase activity is necessary for the gene expression programme involved in glycogen metabolism and human glycogen storage diseases.
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