A20 deubiquitinase controls PGC-1α expression in the adipose tissue

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Background: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator- 1alpha (PGC-1α) plays an important role in whole body metabolism and, particularly in glucose homeostasis. Its expression is highly regulated and, small variations in tissue levels can have a major impact in a number of physiological and pathological conditions. Recent studies have shown that the ubiquitin/proteasome system plays a role in the control of PGC-1α degradation. Methods: Here we evaluated the interaction of PGC-1α with the protein A20, which plays a dual-role in the control of the ubiquitin/proteasome system acting as a deubiquitinase and as an E3 ligase. We employed immunoprecipitation, quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence staining to evaluate PGC-1α, A20, PPARγ and ubiquitin in the adipose tissue of humans and mice. Results: In distinct sites of the adipose tissue, A20 binds to PGC-1α. At least in the subcutaneous fat of humans and mice the levels of PGC-1α decrease during obesity, while its physical association with A20 increases. The inhibition of A20 leads to a reduction of PGC-1α and PPARγ expression, suggesting that A20 acts as a protective factor against PGC-1α disposal. Conclusion: We provide evidence that mechanisms regulating PGC-1α ubiquitination are potentially involved in the control of the function of this transcriptional co-activator.

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Bombassaro, B., Ignacio-Souza, L. M., Nunez, C. E., Razolli, D. S., Pedro, R. M., Coope, A., … Velloso, L. A. (2018). A20 deubiquitinase controls PGC-1α expression in the adipose tissue. Lipids in Health and Disease, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0740-6

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