PPARalpha blocks glucocorticoid receptor alpha-mediated transactivation but cooperates with the activated glucocorticoid receptor alpha for transrepression on NF-kappaB.

Research paper by Nadia N Bougarne, Réjane R Paumelle, Sandrine S Caron, Nathalie N Hennuyer, Roxane R Mansouri, Philippe P Gervois, Bart B Staels, Guy G Haegeman, Karolien K De Bosscher

Indexed on: 21 Apr '09Published on: 21 Apr '09Published in: PNAS


Glucocorticoid receptor alpha (GRalpha) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) are transcription factors with clinically important immune-modulating properties. Either receptor can inhibit cytokine gene expression, mainly through interference with nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB)-driven gene expression. The present work aimed to investigate a functional cross-talk between PPARalpha- and GRalpha-mediated signaling pathways. Simultaneous activation of PPARalpha and GRalpha dose-dependently enhances transrepression of NF-kappaB-driven gene expression and additively represses cytokine production. In sharp contrast and quite unexpectedly, PPARalpha agonists inhibit the expression of classical glucocorticoid response element (GRE)-driven genes in a PPARalpha-dependent manner, as demonstrated by experiments using PPARalpha wild-type and knockout mice. The underlying mechanism for this transcriptional antagonism relies on a PPARalpha-mediated interference with the recruitment of GRalpha, and concomitantly of RNA polymerase II, to GRE-driven gene promoters. Finally, the biological relevance of this phenomenon is underscored by the observation that treatment with the PPARalpha agonist fenofibrate prevents glucocorticoid-induced hyperinsulinemia of mice fed a high-fat diet. Taken together, PPARalpha negatively interferes with GRE-mediated GRalpha activity while potentiating its antiinflammatory effects, thus providing a rationale for combination therapy in chronic inflammatory disorders.