Metabolomics: An Essential Tool to Understand the Function of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha.

1Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and The Center for Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.
Toxicologic Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.14). 11/2012; 41(2). DOI: 10.1177/0192623312466960
Source: PubMed


The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear hormone transcription factors (PPARα, PPARβ/δ, and PPARγ) is regulated by a wide array of ligands including natural and synthetic chemicals. PPARs have important roles in control of energy metabolism and are known to influence inflammation, differentiation, carcinogenesis, and chemical toxicity. As such, PPARs have been targeted as therapy for common disorders such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. The recent application of metabolomics, or the global, unbiased measurement of small molecules found in biofluids, or extracts from cells, tissues, or organisms, has advanced our understanding of the varied and important roles that the PPARs have in normal physiology as well as in pathophysiological processes. Continued development and refinement of analytical platforms, and the application of new bioinformatics strategies, have accelerated the widespread use of metabolomics and have allowed further integration of small molecules into systems biology. Recent studies using metabolomics to understand PPARα function, as well as to identify PPARα biomarkers associated with drug efficacy/toxicity and drug-induced liver injury, will be discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily, which is composed of four members encoded by distinct genes (α, β, γ, and δ). The genes undergo transactivation or transrepression under specific mechanisms that lead to the induction or repression of target gene expression. As is the case with other nuclear receptors, all four PPAR isoforms contain five or six structural regions in four functional domains; namely, A/B, C, D, and E/F. PPARs have many functions, particularly functions involving control of vascular tone, inflammation, and energy homeostasis, and are, therefore, important targets for hypertension, obesity, obesity-induced inflammation, and metabolic syndrome in general. Hence, PPARs also represent drug targets, and PPARα and PPARγ agonists are used clinically in the treatment of dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus, respectively. Because of their pleiotropic effects, they have been identified as active in a number of diseases and are targets for the development of a broad range of therapies for a variety of diseases. It is likely that the range of PPARγ agonist therapeutic actions will result in novel approaches to lifestyle and other diseases. The combination of PPARs with reagents or with other cardiovascular drugs, such as diuretics and angiotensin II receptor blockers, should be studied. This article provides a review of PPAR isoform characteristics, a discussion of progress in our understanding of the biological actions of PPARs, and a summary of PPAR agonist development for patient management. We also include a summary of the experimental and clinical evidence obtained from animal studies and clinical trials conducted to evaluate the usefulness and effectiveness of PPAR agonists in the treatment of lifestyle-related diseases.
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