PGC-1α (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha) is a transcriptional coactivator of many genes involved in energy management and mitochondrial biogenesis. PGC-1α expression is associated with cellular senescence, organismal aging, and many age-related diseases, including AMD (age-related macular degeneration), an important global issue concerning vision loss. We and others have developed a model of AMD pathogenesis, in which stress-induced senescence of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells leads to AMD-related pathological changes. PGC-1α can decrease oxidative stress, a key factor of AMD pathogenesis related to senescence, through upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and DNA damage response. PGC-1α is an important regulator of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which is targeted in the therapy of wet AMD, the most devastating form of AMD. Dysfunction of mitochondria induces cellular senescence associated with AMD pathogenesis. PGC-1α can improve mitochondrial biogenesis and negatively regulate senescence, although this function of PGC-1α in AMD needs further studies. Post-translational modifications of PGC-1α by AMPK (AMP kinase) and SIRT1 (sirtuin 1) are crucial for its activation and important in AMD pathogenesis.
Kaarniranta, K., Kajdanek, J., Morawiec, J., Pawlowska, E., & Blasiak, J. (2018, August 7). PGC-1α protects RPE cells of the aging retina against oxidative stress-induced degeneration through the regulation of senescence and mitochondrial quality control. The significance for AMD pathogenesis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082317