GCN5-mediated transcriptional control of the metabolic coactivator PGC-1β through lysine acetylation

Timothy J. Kelly, Carles Lerin, Wilhelm Haas, Steven P. Gygi, Pere Puigserver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Changes in expression levels of genes encoding for proteins that control metabolic pathways are essential to maintain nutrient and energy homeostasis in individual cells as well as in organisms. An important regulated step in this process is accomplished through covalent chemical modifications of proteins that form complexes with the chromatin of gene promoters. The peroxisome proliferators γ co-activator 1 (PGC-1) family of transcriptional co-activators comprises important components of a number of these complexes and participates in a large array of glucose and lipid metabolic adaptations. Here, we show that PGC-1β is acetylated on at least 10 lysine residues distributed along the length of the protein by the acetyl transferase general control of amino-acid synthesis (GCN5) and that this acetylation reaction is reversed by the deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). GCN5 strongly interacts with and represses its transcriptional activity associated with transcription factors such as ERRα, NRF-1, and HNF4α, however acetylation and transcriptional repression do not occur when a catalytically inactive GCN5 is co-expressed. Transcriptional repression coincides with PGC-1β redistribution to nuclear foci where it co-localizes with GCN5. Furthermore, knockdown of GCN5 ablates PGC-1β acetylation and increases transcriptional activity. In primary skeletal muscle cells, PGC-1β induction of endogenous target genes, including MCAD and GLUT4, is largely repressed by GCN5. Functionally, this translates to a blunted response to PGC-1β-induced insulin-mediated glucose transport. These results suggest that PGC-1β acetylation by GCN5 might be an important step in the control of glucose and lipid pathways and its dysregulation could contribute to metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19945-19952
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 24 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'GCN5-mediated transcriptional control of the metabolic coactivator PGC-1β through lysine acetylation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this