Neuronal Activity Controls the Antagonistic Balance Between Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ Coactivator-1α and Silencing Mediator of Retinoic Acid and Thyroid Hormone Receptors in Regulating Antioxidant Defenses

Francesc X. Soriano, Frederic Leveille, Sofia Papadia, Karen F. S. Bell, Clare Puddifoot, Giles E. Hardingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transcriptional coactivators and corepressors often have multiple targets and can have opposing actions on transcription and downstream physiological events. The coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC)-1α is under-expressed in Huntington's disease and is a regulator of antioxidant defenses and mitochondrial biogenesis. We show that in primary cortical neurons, expression of PGC-1α strongly promotes resistance to excitotoxic and oxidative stress in a cell autonomous manner, whereas knockdown increases sensitivity. In contrast, the transcriptional corepressor silencing mediator of retinoic acid and thyroid hormone receptors (SMRT) specifically antagonizes PGC-1α-mediated antioxidant effects. The antagonistic balance between PGC-1α and SMRT is upset in favor of PGC-1α by synaptic activity. Synaptic activity triggers nuclear export of SMRT reliant on multiple regions of the protein. Concomitantly, synaptic activity post-translationally enhances the transactivating potential of PGC-1α in a p38-dependent manner, as well as upregulating cyclic-AMP response element binding protein-dependent PGC-1α transcription. Activity-dependent targeting of PGC-1α results in enhanced gene expression mediated by the thyroid hormone receptor, a prototypical transcription factor coactivated by PGC-1α and repressed by SMRT. As a consequence of these events, SMRT is unable to antagonize PGC-1α-mediated resistance to oxidative stress in synaptically active neurons. Thus, PGC-1α and SMRT are antagonistic regulators of neuronal vulnerability to oxidative stress. Further, this coactivator-corepressor antagonism is regulated by the activity status of the cell, with implications for neuronal viability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1436
Number of pages12
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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