Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Coactivator-1α Is a Central Negative Regulator of Vascular Senescence
Objective—Cellular senescence influences organismal aging and increases predisposition to age-related diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and function, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Senescence is associated with telomere and mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, implying a potential causal role of PGC-1α in senescence pathogenesis.
Approach and Results—We generated a PGC-1α+/–/ApoE–/– mouse model and showed that PGC-1α deficiency promotes a vascular senescence phenotype that is associated with increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial abnormalities, and reduced telomerase activity. PGC-1α disruption results in reduced expression of the longevity-related deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and the antioxidant catalase, and increased expression of the senescence marker p53 in aortas. Further, angiotensin II, a major hormonal inducer of vascular senescence, induces prolonged lysine acetylation of PGC-1α and releases the PGC-1α–FoxO1 complex from the SIRT1 promoter, thus reducing SIRT1 expression. The phosphorylation-defective mutant PGC-1α S570A is not acetylated, is constitutively active for FoxO1-dependent SIRT1 transcription, and prevents angiotensin II–induced senescence. Acetylation of PGC-1α by angiotensin II interrupts the PGC-1α–FoxO1–SIRT1 feed-forward signaling circuit leading to SIRT1 and catalase downregulation and vascular senescence.
Conclusion—PGC-1α is a primary negative regulator of vascular senescence. Moreover, the central role of posttranslational modification of PGC-1α in regulating angiotensin II–induced vascular senescence may inform development of novel therapeutic strategies for mitigating age-associated diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
- Received December 17, 2012.
- Accepted January 29, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.