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The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have been previously implicated in the pathophysiology of skeletal muscle dysfunction in women with breast cancer (BC) and animal models of BC. This study investigated alterations induced in skeletal muscle by BC-derived factors in an in vitro conditioned media (CM) system and tested the hypothesis that BC cells secrete a factor that represses PPAR-γ (PPARG) expression and its transcriptional activity, leading to downregulation of PPARG target genes involved in mitochondrial function and other metabolic pathways. We found that BC-derived factors repress PPAR-mediated transcriptional activity without altering protein expression of PPARG. Furthermore, we show that BC-derived factors induce significant alterations in skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and lipid accumulation, which are rescued with exogenous expression of PPARG. The PPARG agonist drug rosiglitazone was able to rescue BC-induced lipid accumulation but did not rescue effects of BC-derived factors on PPAR-mediated transcription or mitochondrial function. These data suggest that BC-derived factors alter lipid accumulation and mitochondrial function via different mechanisms that are both related to PPARG signaling, with mitochondrial dysfunction likely being altered via repression of PPAR-mediated transcription, and lipid accumulation being altered via transcription-independent functions of PPARG.


Hannah E Wilson, David A Stanton, Stephanie Rellick, Werner Geldenhuys, Emidio E Pistilli. Breast cancer-associated skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction and lipid accumulation is reversed by PPARG. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 2021 Apr 01;320(4):C577-C590

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PMID: 33439777

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