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Nutrient Sensing and Cell Biology

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Mammalian cells sense nutrient signals to reprogram energetic metabolism and trigger biological responses within the context of tissue function and whole animal physiology. This is exemplified by the nutrient fluctuations occurring during fed/fasting or diabetic conditions and the specific functions of the liver, skeletal muscle or adipose tissues.

We are focused on the identification of the molecular components that sense and transmit nutrient signals and reprogram metabolic/energetic processes. We study how these components are assembled (in space and time) to regulate metabolic adaptations in cells and in whole animals. We design and use experimental approaches that combine biochemistry with new tools in chemical/metabolite biology, proteomics and gene expression.

In the last years, we have extensively used the metabolic transcriptional coactivator PGC1α, a key protein in remodeling cellular metabolic programs including mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, as a “scaffold” bait to identify the mammalian nutrient sensing components. We have identified a new regulatory nutrient/metabolite pathway that impinges on the hyperacetylation status of PGC1α. Central sensing components within this pathway include metabolite sensitive enzymes such as the acetyl transferase GCN5 (responds to Acetyl-CoA levels), the deacetylase SIRT1 (responds to NAD+ levels), and components of the canonical cAMP pathway.

Selected publications

Selective Chemical Inhibition of PGC-1α Gluconeogenic Activity Ameliorates Type 2 Diabetes.
Sharabi K, Lin H, Tavares CD, Dominy JE, Camporez JP, Perry RJ, Schilling R, Rines AK, Lee J, Hickey M, Bennion M, Palmer M, Nag PP, Bittker JA, Perez J, Jedrychowski MP, Ozcan U, Gygi SP, Kamenecka TM, Shulman GI, Schreiber SL, Griffin PR, Puigserver P.
Cell. 2017 Mar 23;169(1):148-160.

Adipose Tissue CLK2 Promotes Energy Expenditure during High-Fat Diet Intermittent Fasting.
Hatting M, Rines AK, Luo C, Tabata M, Sharabi K, Hall JA, Verdeguer F, Trautwein C, and Puigserver P.
Cell Metab. 2017 Feb 7;25(2):428-437.
Cyclin D1–Cdk4 controls glucose metabolism independently of cell cycle progression.
Yoonjin Lee, John E. Dominy, Yoon Jong Choi, Michael Jurczak, Nicola Tolliday, Joao Paulo Camporez, Helen Chim, Ji-Hong Lim, Hai-Bin Ruan, Xiaoyong Yang, Francisca Vazquez, Piotr Sicinski, Gerald I. Shulman, Pere Puigserver.
Nature. 2014 Jun 26;510(7506):547-51

The deacetylase SirT6 activates GCN5 and suppresses PGC-1α-mediated hepatic gluconegeonesis
J.E. Dominy, Y. Lee, M.J. Jedrychowski, H. Chim, M.J. Jurczak, J.P. Camporez, H.B. Ruan, J. Feldman, K. Pierce, R. Mostoslavsky, J.M. Denu, C.B. Clish, X. Yang, G.I. Shulman, S.P. Gygi and P. Puigserver
Molecular Cell. 48(6):900-13, 2012

Ying Yang 1 deficiency in skeletal muscle protects against rapamycin-induced diabetic-like symptoms through activation of insulin/IGF signaling
S.M. Blättler, J.C. Cunningham, F. Verdeguer, H. Chim, W. Haas, M. Ruegg, H. Liu, S.P. Gygi, Y. Shi and P. Puigserver
Cell Metabolism. 4;15(4):505-17, 2012

The cAMP/PKA pathway rapidly activates SIRT1 to promote fatty acid oxidation independently of changes in NAD+
Z. Gerhart-Hines, J.E. Dominy, S.M. Blättler, M.P. Jedrychowski, A.S. Banks, J.H. Lim, H. Chim, S.P. Gygi and P. Puigserver
Molecular Cell. 44(6):851-63, 2011

GCN5 acetyl transferase complex controls glucose metabolism through transcriptional repression of PGC-1α
C. Lerin, J.T. Rodgers, D. Kalume, S.H. Kim, A. Pandey and P. Puigserver
Cell Metabolism. 3(6):429-38, 2006

Nutrient control of gluconeogenesis through PGC-1α/SIRT1 deacetylase complex
J.T. Rodgers, C. Lerin, W. Haas, S.P. Gygi, B.M. Spiegelman and P. Puigserver
Nature. 434:113-8, 2005

Full list of publications