CD36-dependent regulation of muscle FoxO1 and PDK4 in the PPARδ/β-mediated adaptation to metabolic stress

Zaher Nahlé, Michael Hsieh, Terri Pietka, Chris T. Coburn, Paul A. Grimaldi, Michael Q. Zhang, Debopriya Das, Nada A. Abumrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The transcription factor FoxO1 contributes to the metabolic adaptation to fasting by suppressing muscle oxidation of glucose, sparing it for glucose-dependent tissues. Previously, we reported that FoxO1 activation in C2C12 muscle cells recruits the fatty acid translocase CD36 to the plasma membrane and increases fatty acid uptake and oxidation. This, together with FoxO1 induction of lipoprotein lipase, would promote the reliance on fatty acid utilization characteristic of the fasted muscle. Here, we show that CD36-mediated fatty acid uptake, in turn, up-regulates protein levels and activity of FoxO1 as well as its target PDK4, the negative regulator of glucose oxidation. Increased fatty acid flux or enforced CD36 expression in C 2C12 cells is sufficient to induce FoxO1 and PDK4, whereas CD36 knockdown has opposite effects. In vivo, CD36 loss blunts fasting induction of FoxO1 and PDK4 and the associated suppression of glucose oxidation. Importantly, CD36-dependent regulation of FoxO1 is mediated by the nuclear receptor PPARδ/β. Loss of PPARδ/β phenocopies CD36 deficiency in blunting fasting induction of muscle FoxO1 and PDK4 in vivo. Expression of PPARδ/β in C2C12 cells, like that of CD36, robustly induces FoxO1 and suppresses glucose oxidation, whereas co-expression of a dominant negative PPARδ/β compromises FoxO1 induction. Finally, several PPRE sites were identified in the FoxO1 promoter, which was responsive to PPARδ/β. Agonists of PPARδ/β were sufficient to confer responsiveness and transactivate the heterologous FoxO1 promoter but not in the presence of dominant negative PPARδ/β. Taken together, our findings suggest that CD36-dependent FA activation of PPARδ/β results in the transcriptional regulation of FoxO1 as well as PDK4, recently shown to be a direct PPARδ/β target. FoxO1 in turn can regulate CD36, lipoprotein lipase, and PDK4, reinforcing the action of PPARδ/β to increase muscle reliance on FA. The findings could have implications in the chronic abnormalities of fatty acid metabolism associated with obesity and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14317-14326
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 23 2008


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