The Corepressor NCoR1 Antagonizes PGC-1α and Estrogen-Related Receptor α in the Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Function and Oxidative Metabolism
Skeletal muscle exhibits a high plasticity and accordingly can quickly adapt to different physiological and pathological stimuli by changing its phenotype largely through diverse epigenetic mechanisms. The nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCoR1) has the ability to mediate gene repression; its role in regulating biological programs in skeletal muscle however is still poorly understood. We therefore studied the mechanistic and functional aspects of NCoR1 function in this tissue. NCoR1 muscle-specific knockout mice exhibited a 7.2% higher VO(2peak), a 11% reduction in maximal isometric force and increased ex vivo fatigue resistance during maximal stimulation. Interestingly, global gene expression analysis revealed a high overlap between the effects of NCoR1 deletion and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) overexpression on oxidative metabolism in muscle. Importantly, PPARβ/δ and estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα) were identified as common targets of NCoR1 and PGC-1α with opposing effects on the transcriptional activity of these nuclear receptors. In fact, the repressive effect of NCoR1 on oxidative phosphorylation gene expression specifically antagonizes PGC-1α-mediated coactivation of ERRα. We therefore delineated the molecular mechanism by which a transcriptional network controlled by corepressor and coactivator proteins determines the metabolic properties of skeletal muscle, thus representing a potential therapeutic target for metabolic diseases.