Fiber Type Conversion by PGC-1α Activates Lysosomal and Autophagosomal Biogenesis in Both Unaffected and Pompe Skeletal Muscle

Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 12/2010; 5(12):e15239. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015239
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PGC-1α is a transcriptional co-activator that plays a central role in the regulation of energy metabolism. Our interest in this protein was driven by its ability to promote muscle remodeling. Conversion from fast glycolytic to slow oxidative fibers seemed a promising therapeutic approach in Pompe disease, a severe myopathy caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) which is responsible for the degradation of glycogen. The recently approved enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has only a partial effect in skeletal muscle. In our Pompe mouse model (KO), the poor muscle response is seen in fast but not in slow muscle and is associated with massive accumulation of autophagic debris and ineffective autophagy. In an attempt to turn the therapy-resistant fibers into fibers amenable to therapy, we made transgenic KO mice expressing PGC-1α in muscle (tgKO). The successful switch from fast to slow fibers prevented the formation of autophagic buildup in the converted fibers, but PGC-1α failed to improve the clearance of glycogen by ERT. This outcome is likely explained by an unexpected dramatic increase in muscle glycogen load to levels much closer to those observed in patients, in particular infants, with the disease. We have also found a remarkable rise in the number of lysosomes and autophagosomes in the tgKO compared to the KO. These data point to the role of PGC-1α in muscle glucose metabolism and its possible role as a master regulator for organelle biogenesis - not only for mitochondria but also for lysosomes and autophagosomes. These findings may have implications for therapy of lysosomal diseases and other disorders with altered autophagy.

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    12/2015; 5(1):9. DOI:10.1186/s13395-015-0033-y
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    ABSTRACT: Pompe disease is a lysosomal storage disorder in which acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) is deficient or absent. Deficiency of this lysosomal enzyme results in progressive expansion of glycogen-filled lysosomes in multiple tissues, with cardiac and skeletal muscle being the most severely affected. The clinical spectrum ranges from fatal hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and skeletal muscle myopathy in infants to relatively attenuated forms, which manifest as a progressive myopathy without cardiac involvement. The currently available enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) proved to be successful in reversing cardiac but not skeletal muscle abnormalities. Although the overall understanding of the disease has progressed, the pathophysiology of muscle damage remains poorly understood. Lysosomal enlargement/rupture has long been considered a mechanism of relentless muscle damage in Pompe disease. In past years, it became clear that this simple view of the pathology is inadequate; the pathological cascade involves dysfunctional autophagy, a major lysosome-dependent intracellular degradative pathway. The autophagic process in Pompe skeletal muscle is affected at the termination stage-impaired autophagosomal-lysosomal fusion. Yet another abnormality in the diseased muscle is the accelerated production of large, unrelated to ageing, lipofuscin deposits-a marker of cellular oxidative damage and a sign of mitochondrial dysfunction. The massive autophagic buildup and lipofuscin inclusions appear to cause a greater effect on muscle architecture than the enlarged lysosomes outside the autophagic regions. Furthermore, the dysfunctional autophagy affects the trafficking of the replacement enzyme and interferes with its delivery to the lysosomes. Several new therapeutic approaches have been tested in Pompe mouse models: substrate reduction therapy, lysosomal exocytosis following the overexpression of transcription factor EB and a closely related but distinct factor E3, and genetic manipulation of autophagy.
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