Mitochondrial dysfunction is not only a hallmark of rare inherited mitochondrial disorders, but is also implicated in age-related diseases, including those that affect the metabolic and nervous system, such as type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Numerous pathways maintain and/or restore proper mitochondrial function, including mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response. New and powerful phenotypic assays in cell-based models, as well as multicellular organisms, have been developed to explore these different aspects of mitochondrial function. Modulating mitochondrial function has therefore emerged as an attractive therapeutic strategy for a range of diseases, which has spurred active drug discovery efforts in this area.
Resveratrol is a natural compound that affects energy metabolism and mitochondrial function and serves as a calorie restriction mimetic, at least in animal models of obesity. Here we treated 11 healthy, obese men with placebo and 150 mg/day resveratrol in a randomized double-blind cross-over study for 30 days. Resveratrol significantly reduced sleeping- and resting metabolic rate. In muscle, resveratrol activated AMPK, increased SIRT1 and PGC-1α protein levels, increased citrate synthase activity without change in mitochondrial content, and improved muscle mitochondrial respiration on a fatty acid-derived substrate. Furthermore, resveratrol elevated intramyocellular lipid levels, and decreased intrahepatic lipid content, circulating glucose, triglycerides, alanine-aminotransferase, and inflammation markers. Systolic blood pressure dropped and HOMA index improved after resveratrol. In the postprandial state, adipose tissue lipolysis and plasma fatty acid and glycerol decreased. In conclusion, we demonstrate that 30 days of resveratrol supplementation induces metabolic changes in obese humans, mimicking the effects of calorie restriction.
Sirt3 is a mitochondrial NAD+-dependent deacetylase that governs mitochondrial metabolism and reactive oxygen species homeostasis. Sirt3 deficiency has been reported to accelerate the development of the metabolic syndrome. However, the role of Sirt3 in atherosclerosis remains enigmatic. We aimed to investigate whether Sirt3 deficiency affects atherosclerosis, plaque vulnerability, and metabolic homeostasis. Low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLR−/−) and LDLR/Sirt3 double-knockout (Sirt3−/−LDLR−/−) mice were fed a high-cholesterol diet (1.25 % w/w) for 12 weeks. Atherosclerosis was assessed en face in thoraco-abdominal aortae and in cross sections of aortic roots. Sirt3 deletion led to hepatic mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation. Unexpectedly, though plasma malondialdehyde levels were elevated in Sirt3-deficient mice, Sirt3 deletion affected neither plaque burden nor features of plaque vulnerability (i.e., fibrous cap thickness and necrotic core diameter). Likewise, plaque macrophage and T cell infiltration as well as endothelial activation remained unaltered. Electron microscopy of aortic walls revealed no difference in mitochondrial microarchitecture between both groups. Interestingly, loss of Sirt3 was associated with accelerated weight gain and an impaired capacity to cope with rapid changes in nutrient supply as assessed by indirect calorimetry. Serum lipid levels and glucose tolerance were unaffected by Sirt3 deletion in LDLR−/− mice. Sirt3 deficiency does not affect atherosclerosis in LDLR−/− mice. However, Sirt3 controls systemic levels of oxidative stress, limits expedited weight gain, and allows rapid metabolic adaptation. Thus, Sirt3 may contribute to postponing cardiovascular risk factor development.
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SIRTUIN 3; Atherosclerosis; Metabolism; Oxidative stress
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a central metabolic cofactor by virtue of its redox capacity, and as such regulates a wealth of metabolic transformations. However, the identification of the longevity protein Sir2, the founding member of the sirtuin protein family, as being NAD+-dependent reignited interest in this metabolite. The sirtuins (SIRT1-7 in mammals) utilize NAD+ to deacetylate proteins in different subcellular compartments with a variety of functions, but with a strong convergence on optimizing mitochondrial function. Since cellular NAD+ levels are limiting for sirtuin activity, boosting its levels is a powerful means to activate sirtuins as a potential therapy for mitochondrial, often age-related, diseases. Indeed, supplying excess precursors, or blocking its utilization by PARP enzymes or CD38/CD157, boosts NAD+ levels, activates sirtuins and promotes healthy aging. Here, we discuss the current state of knowledge of NAD+ metabolism, primarily in relation to sirtuin function. We highlight how NAD+ levels change in diverse physiological conditions, and how this can be employed as a pharmacological strategy.
Aging; Metabolism; Mitochondria; PARPs; Sirtuins
In recent years the role of acetylation has gained ground as an essential modulator of intermediary metabolism in skeletal muscle. Imbalance in energy homeostasis or chronic cellular stress, due to diet, aging or disease, translate into alterations in the acetylation levels of key proteins which governs bioenergetics, cellular substrate use and/or changes in mitochondrial content and function. For example, cellular stress induced by exercise or caloric restriction can alter the coordinated activity of acetyltransferases and deacetylases to increase mitochondrial biogenesis and function in order to adapt to low energetic levels. The natural duality of these enzymes, as metabolic sensors and effector proteins, have helped biologists understand how the body can integrate seemingly distinct signaling pathways to control mitochondrial biogenesis, insulin sensitivity, glucose transport, reactive oxygen species handling, angiogenesis and muscle satellite cell proliferation/differentiation. Our review will summarize the recent developments related to acetylation dependent responses following metabolic stress in skeletal muscle.
Acetylation; Sirtuins; Muscle adaptation; Energy stress; Oxidative Metabolisms; glucose homeostasis
Anti-diabetic drugs that activate the protein PPARγ had a bright start but soon lost appeal due to undesirable side effects. Subtle modifications may once again make them suitable for treating diabetes.
Molecular and cellular networks implicated in aging depend on a multitude of proteins that collectively mount adaptive and contingent metabolic responses to environmental challenges. Here we discuss the intimate links between metabolic regulation and longevity, and outline novel approaches for analyzing and manipulating such links to promote human healthspan.
Cells respond to stress by coordinating proliferative and metabolic pathways. Starvation restricts cell proliferative (glycolytic) and activates energy productive (oxidative) pathways. Conversely, cell growth and proliferation require increased glycolytic and decreased oxidative metabolism1. E2F transcription factors regulate both proliferative and metabolic genes2,3. E2Fs have been implicated in the G1/S cell cycle transition, DNA repair, apoptosis, development, and differentiation2-4. In pancreatic β-cells, E2F1 gene regulation facilitated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion5,6. Moreover, mice lacking E2F1 (E2f1−/−) were resistant to diet-induced obesity4. Here, we show that E2F1 coordinates cellular responses by acting as a regulatory switch between cell proliferation and metabolism. In basal conditions, E2F1 repressed key genes that regulate energy homeostasis and mitochondrial functions in muscle and brown adipose. Consequently, E2f1−/− mice had a marked oxidative phenotype An association between E2F1 and pRb was required for repression of genes implicated in oxidative metabolism. This repression was alleviated in a constitutive active CDK4 (CDK4R24C) mouse model or when adaptation to energy demand was required. Thus, E2F1 represents a metabolic switch from oxidative to glycolytic metabolism that responds to stressful conditions.
Adenylyl cyclase type 5 knockout mice (AC5 KO) live longer and are stress resistant, similar to calorie restriction (CR). AC5 KO mice eat more, but actually weigh less and accumulate less fat compared to WT mice. CR applied to AC5 KO result in rapid decrease in body weight, metabolic deterioration and death. These data suggest that despite restricted food intake in CR, but augmented food intake in AC5 KO, the two models affect longevity and metabolism similarly. To determine shared molecular mechanisms, mRNA expression was examined genome-wide for brain, heart, skeletal muscle and liver. Significantly more genes were regulated commonly rather than oppositely in all the tissues in both models, indicating commonality between AC5 KO and CR. Gene Ontology analysis identified many significantly regulated, tissue-specific pathways shared by the two models, including sensory perception in heart and brain, muscle function in skeletal muscle, and lipid metabolism in liver. Moreover, when comparing gene expression changes in the heart under stress, the glutathione regulatory pathway was consistently upregulated in the longevity models but downregulated with stress. In addition, AC5 and CR shared changes in genes and proteins involved in the regulation of longevity and stress resistance, including Sirt1, ApoD and olfactory receptors in both young and intermediate age mice. Thus, the similarly regulated genes and pathways in AC5 KO and CR, particularly related to the metabolic phenotype, suggest a unified theory for longevity and stress resistance.
calorie restriction; type 5 adenylyl cyclase; longevity; stress resistance
Organisms adapt their metabolism to meet ever changing environmental conditions. This metabolic adaptation involves at a cellular level the fine-tuning of mitochondrial function, which is mainly under the control of the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α. Changes in PGC-1α activity coordinate a transcriptional response, that boosts mitochondrial activity in times of energy needs and attenuates it when energy demands are low. Reversible acetylation has emerged as a key way to alter PGC-1α activity. Although it is well-established that PGC-1α is deacetylated and activated by Sirt1 and acetylated and inhibited by GCN5, less is known about how these enzymes themselves are regulated. Recently, it became clear that the energy sensor, AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) translates the effects of energy stress into altered Sirt1 activity by regulating the intracellular level of its co-substrate NAD+. Conversely, the enzyme ATP citrate lyase (ACL), relates energy balance to GCN5, through the control of the nuclear production of acetyl-CoA, the substrate for GCN5’s acetyltransferase activity. We review here how these metabolic signalling pathways, affecting GCN5 and Sirt1 activity, allow the reversible acetylation/deacetylation of PGC-1α and the adaptation of mitochondrial energy homeostasis to energy levels.
acetyl transferases; AMPK; ATP citrate lyase; deacetylases; GCN5; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; PGC-1α; SIRT1
Longevity is regulated by a network of intimately linked metabolic systems. We used a combination of mouse population genetics and RNAi in C. elegans to identify mitochondrial ribosomal protein S5 (Mrps5) and other mitochondrial ribosomal proteins (MRPs) as metabolic and longevity regulators. MRP knockdown triggers mitonuclear protein imbalance, reducing mitochondrial respiration and activating the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). Specific antibiotics targeting mitochondrial translation and ethidium bromide, which impairs mitochondrial DNA transcription, pharmacologically mimic mrp knockdown and extend lifespan by inducing mitonuclear protein imbalance, also in mammalian cells. In addition, resveratrol and rapamycin, longevity compounds acting on different molecular targets, similarly induced mitonuclear protein imbalance, UPRmt and lifespan extention in C. elegans. Collectively these data demonstrate that MRPs represent an evolutionary conserved protein family that ties the mitochondrial ribosome and mitonuclear protein imbalance to UPRmt, an overarching longevity pathway across multiple species.
Sirt5, localized in the mitochondria, is a member of sirtuin family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases. Sirt5 was shown to deacetylate and activate carbamoyl phosphate synthase 1. Most recently, Sirt5 was reported to be the predominant protein desuccinylase and demalonylase in the mitochondria because the ablation of Sirt5 enhanced the global succinylation and malonylation of mitochondrial proteins, including many metabolic enzymes. In order to determine the physiological role of Sirt5 in metabolic homeostasis, we generated a germline Sirt5 deficient (Sirt5−/−) mouse model and performed a thorough metabolic characterization of this mouse line. Although a global protein hypersuccinylation and elevated serum ammonia during fasting were observed in our Sirt5−/− mouse model, Sirt5 deficiency did not lead to any overt metabolic abnormalities under either chow or high fat diet conditions. These observations suggest that Sirt5 is likely to be dispensable for the metabolic homeostasis under the basal conditions.
Insulin resistance, tissue inflammation and adipose tissue dysfunction are features of obesity/Type 2 diabetes. Accordingly, we generated adipocyte-specific Nuclear Receptor Corepressor (NCoR) knock-out (AKO) mice to investigate the function of NCoR in adipocyte biology and glucose/insulin homeostasis. Despite increased obesity, glucose tolerance was improved in AKO mice, and euglycemic clamp studies demonstrated enhanced insulin sensitivity in liver, muscle and fat. Adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and inflammation were also decreased. PPARγ response genes were upregulated in adipose tissue from AKO mice and CDK5-mediated PPARγ ser-273 phosphorylation was reduced, creating a constitutively active PPARγ state. This identifies a novel function of NCoR as an adaptor protein which enhances the ability of CDK5 to associate with and phosphorylate PPARγ. The dominant function of adipocyte NCoR is to transrepress PPARγ and promote PPARγ ser-273 phosphorylation, such that NCoR deletion leads to adipogenesis, reduced inflammation, and enhanced systemic insulin sensitivity, phenocopying the TZD treated state.
nuclear corepressor; insulin resistance; obesity; macrophage; adipogenesis
Glucose is an important metabolic substrate of the retina and diabetic patients have to maintain a strict normoglycemia to avoid diabetes secondary effects, including cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy. Others and we recently demonstrated the potential role of hypoglycemia in diabetic retinopathy. We showed acute hypoglycemia to induce retinal cell death both in vivo during an hyperinsulinemic/hypoglycemic clamp and in vitro in 661W photoreceptor cells cultured at low glucose concentration. In the present study, we showed low glucose to induce a decrease of BCL2 and BCL-XL anti-apoptotic proteins expression, leading to an increase of free pro-apoptotic BAX. In parallel, we showed that, in retinal cells, low glucose-induced apoptosis is involved in the process of autophagosomes formation through the AMPK/RAPTOR/mTOR pathway. Moreover, the decrease of LAMP2a expression led to a defect in the autophagosome/lysosome fusion process. Specific inhibition of autophagy, either by 3-methyladenine or by down-regulation of ATG5 or ATG7 proteins expression, increased caspase 3 activation and 661W cell death. We show that low glucose modifies the delicate equilibrium between apoptosis and autophagy. Cells struggled against low nutrient condition-induced apoptosis by starting an autophagic process, which led to cell death when inhibited. We conclude that autophagy defect is associated with low glucose-induced 661W cells death that could play a role in diabetic retinopathy. These results could modify the way of addressing negative effects of hypoglycemia. Short-term modulation of autophagy could be envisioned to treat diabetic patients in order to avoid secondary complications of the disease.
Statins protect against cardiovascular-related mortality but induce skeletal muscle toxicity. To investigate mechanisms of statins, we tested the hypothesis that statins optimized cardiac mitochondrial function but impaired vulnerable skeletal muscle by inducing different level of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Methods and results
In atrium of patients treated with statins, ROS production was decreased and oxidative capacities were enhanced together with an extensive augmentation of mRNAs expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator (PGC-1) family. However, in deltoid biopsies from patients with statin-induced muscular myopathy, oxidative capacities were decreased together with ROS increase and a collapse of PGC-1 mRNA expression. Several animal and cell culture experiments were conducted and showed by using ROS scavengers that ROS production was the triggering factor responsible of atorvastatin-induced activation of mitochondrial biogenesis pathway and improvement of antioxidant capacities in heart. Conversely, in skeletal muscle, the large augmentation of ROS production following treatment induced mitochondrial impairments, and reduced mitochondrial biogenesis mechanisms. Quercetin, an antioxidant molecule, was able to counteract skeletal muscle deleterious effects of atorvastatin in rat.
Our findings identify statins as a new activating factor of cardiac mitochondrial biogenesis and antioxidant capacities, and suggest the importance of ROS/PGC-1 signalling pathway as a key element in regulation of mitochondrial function in cardiac as well as skeletal muscles.
Mitohormesis; Statin; ROS; Heart; Mitochondrial biogenesis
Skeletal muscle exhibits a high plasticity and accordingly can quickly adapt to different physiological and pathological stimuli by changing its phenotype largely through diverse epigenetic mechanisms. The nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCoR1) has the ability to mediate gene repression; however, its role in regulating biological programs in skeletal muscle is still poorly understood. We therefore studied the mechanistic and functional aspects of NCoR1 function in this tissue. NCoR1 muscle-specific knockout mice exhibited a 7.2% higher peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), a 11% reduction in maximal isometric force, and increased ex vivo fatigue resistance during maximal stimulation. Interestingly, global gene expression analysis revealed a high overlap between the effects of NCoR1 deletion and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) overexpression on oxidative metabolism in muscle. Importantly, PPARβ/δ and estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα) were identified as common targets of NCoR1 and PGC-1α with opposing effects on the transcriptional activity of these nuclear receptors. In fact, the repressive effect of NCoR1 on oxidative phosphorylation gene expression specifically antagonizes PGC-1α-mediated coactivation of ERRα. We therefore delineated the molecular mechanism by which a transcriptional network controlled by corepressor and coactivator proteins determines the metabolic properties of skeletal muscle, thus representing a potential therapeutic target for metabolic diseases.
We present a consolidated view of the complexity and challenges of designing studies for measurement of energy metabolism in mouse models, including a practical guide to the assessment of energy expenditure, energy intake and body composition and statistical analysis thereof. We hope this guide will facilitate comparisons across studies and minimize spurious interpretations of data. We recommend that division of energy expenditure data by either body weight or lean body weight and that presentation of group effects as histograms should be replaced by plotting individual data and analyzing both group and body-composition effects using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
Bile acids (BAs) are amphipatic molecules that facilitate the uptake of lipids, and their levels fluctuate in the intestine as well as in the blood circulation depending on food intake. Besides their role in dietary lipid absorption, bile acids function as signaling molecules capable to activate specific receptors. These BA receptors are not only important in the regulation of bile acid synthesis and their metabolism, but also regulate glucose homeostasis, lipid metabolism and energy expenditure. These processes are important in diabetes and other facets of the metabolic syndrome, which represents a considerable increasing health burden. In addition to the function of the nuclear receptor FXRα in regulating local effects in the organs of the enterohepatic axis, increasing evidence points to a crucial role of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) TGR5 in mediating systemic actions of BAs. Here we discuss the current knowledge on BA receptors, with a strong focus on the cell membrane receptor TGR5, which emerges as a valuable target for intervention in metabolic diseases.
The mechanisms involved in the coordinate regulation of the metabolic and structural programs controlling muscle fitness and endurance are unknown. Recently, the nuclear receptor PPARβ/δ was shown to activate muscle endurance programs in transgenic mice. In contrast, muscle-specific transgenic overexpression of the related nuclear receptor, PPARα, results in reduced capacity for endurance exercise. We took advantage of the divergent actions of PPARβ/δ and PPARα to explore the downstream regulatory circuitry that orchestrates the programs linking muscle fiber type with energy metabolism. Our results indicate that, in addition to the well-established role in transcriptional control of muscle metabolic genes, PPARβ/δ and PPARα participate in programs that exert opposing actions upon the type I fiber program through a distinct muscle microRNA (miRNA) network, dependent on the actions of another nuclear receptor, estrogen-related receptor γ (ERRγ). Gain-of-function and loss-of-function strategies in mice, together with assessment of muscle biopsies from humans, demonstrated that type I muscle fiber proportion is increased via the stimulatory actions of ERRγ on the expression of miR-499 and miR-208b. This nuclear receptor/miRNA regulatory circuit shows promise for the identification of therapeutic targets aimed at maintaining muscle fitness in a variety of chronic disease states, such as obesity, skeletal myopathies, and heart failure.
The NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 is a major metabolic regulator activated by energy stresses such as fasting or calorie restriction. SIRT1 activation during fasting not only relies on the increase in the NAD+/NADH ratio caused by energy deprivation, but also involves an upregulation of SIRT1 mRNA and protein levels in various metabolic tissues. We demonstrate that SIRT1 expression is controlled systemically by the activation of the cAMP-Response Element Binding protein (CREB) upon low nutrient availability. Conversely, in the absence of energetic stress, the Carbohydrate-Response Element Binding Protein (ChREBP) represses the expression of SIRT1. Altogether, these results demonstrate that SIRT1 expression is tightly controlled at the transcriptional level by nutrient availability and further underscore that SIRT1 is a crucial metabolic checkpoint connecting the energetic status with transcriptional programs.
SIRT1; CREB; ChREBP; glucagon; nutrient availability
Dietary restriction can extend lifespan in most organisms tested to date, suggesting that mechanisms sensing nutrient and energy availability might regulate longevity. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has emerged as a key energy sensor with the ability to transcriptionally reprogram the cell and metabolically adapt to external cues. In this review we will discuss the possible role of AMPK in the beneficial effects of calorie restriction on health and lifespan.
Purpose of the review
PGC-1α has been extensively described as a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. However, PGC-1α activity is not constant, and can be finely tuned in response to different metabolic situations. From this point of view, PGC-1α could be described as a mediator of the transcriptional outputs triggered by metabolic sensors, providing the idea that these sensors, together with PGC-1α, might be weaving a network controlling cellular energy expenditure. In this review we will focus on how pathologies such as type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome might be related to an abnormal and improper function of this network.
Two metabolic sensors, AMPK and SIRT1 have been described to directly affect PGC-1α activity through phosphorylation and deacetylation, respectively. While the physiological relevance of these modifications and their molecular consequences are still largely unknown, recent insight from different in vivo transgenic models clearly suggests that AMPK, SIRT1 and PGC-1α might act as an orchestrated network to improve metabolic fitness.
Metabolic sensors such as AMPK and SIRT1, gatekeepers of the activity of the master regulator of mitochondria, PGC1α, are vital links in a regulatory network for metabolic homeostasis. Together these players explain many of the beneficial effects of physical activity and dietary interventions in our battle against type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Hence, understanding the mechanisms by which they act could guide us to identify and improve preventive and therapeutic strategies for metabolic diseases.
energy expenditure; PGC-1α; SIRT1; AMPK
More than 70 years after its initial report, caloric restriction stands strong as the most consistent non-pharmacological intervention increasing lifespan and protecting against metabolic disease. Among the different mechanisms by which caloric restriction may act, Sir2/SIRT1 (Silent information regulator 2/Silent information regulator T1) has gained major attention due to its ability to integrate the sensing of the metabolic status with adaptative transcriptional outputs. This review focuses on gathered evidence suggesting that Sir2/SIRT1 is a key mediator of the beneficial effects of caloric restriction and addresses the main questions that still need to be answered to consolidate this hypothesis.
The G-protein coupled receptor TGR5 has been identified as an important component of the bile acid signaling network and its activation has been linked to enhanced energy expenditure and improved glycemic control. Here we demonstrate that TGR5 is expressed in macrophages, and that its activation by 6α-ethyl-23(S)-methyl-cholic acid (6-EMCA, INT-777), a semi-synthetic BA, inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine production, an effect mediated by TGR5-induced cAMP signaling and subsequent NF-κB inhibition. TGR5 activation with the TGR5-specific agonist INT-777 was found to inhibit oxidized LDL uptake in macrophages, and attenuated atherosclerosis in Ldlr−/−Tgr5+/+ mice, but not in Ldlr−/−Tgr5−/− double knockout mice. The inhibition of lesion formation was associated with decreased intraplaque inflammation and less plaque macrophage content. Furthermore, Ldlr−/− animals transplanted with bone marrow of Tgr5−/− mice did not show an inhibition of atherosclerosis by INT-777, further establishing an important role of leukocytes in INT-777-mediated inhibition of vascular lesion formation. Taken together, these data attribute a significant immune modulating function to TGR5 activation in the prevention of atherosclerosis, an important facet of the metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome; Atherosclerosis; Inflammation; Macrophages; TGR5
NAD+ is a central metabolite in the cell. Changes in NAD+ abundance and the activity of NAD+-dependent enzymes, such as the sirtuins, are at the core of metabolic/mitochondrial diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and of cancer and neurodegeneration. Here, we discuss how maintaining or raising NAD+ levels can improve metabolism and prevent age-related functional decline and associated disease, and how basic scientific discoveries in the NAD+ signaling pathway are being translated to the clinic.