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I Issemann, R A Prince, J D Tugwood, and S Green


The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) is a member of the steroid hormone receptor superfamily and is activated by a variety of fibrate hypolipidaemic drugs and non-genotoxic rodent hepatocarcinogens that are collectively termed peroxisome proliferators. A key marker of peroxisome proliferator action is the peroxisomal enzyme acyl CoA oxidase, which is elevated about tenfold in the livers of treated rodents. We have previously shown that a peroxisome proliferator response element (PPRE) is located 570 bp upstream of the rat peroxisomal acyl CoA oxidase gene and that PPAR binds to it. We show here that the retinoid X receptor (RXR) is required for PPAR to bind to the PPRE, and that the RXR ligand, 9-cis retinoic acid, enhances PPAR action. Retinoids may therefore modulate the action of peroxisome proliferators and PPAR may interfere with retinoid action, perhaps providing one mechanism to explain the toxicity of peroxisome proliferators. We have also shown that a variety of hypolipidaemic drugs and fatty acids can activate PPAR. This supports the suggestion that the physiological role of PPAR is to regulate fatty acid homeostasis, and provides further evidence that PPAR is the target of the fibrate class of hypolipidaemic drugs. Finally, we have demonstrated that a metabolically stabilized fatty acid is a potent PPAR activator, suggesting that fatty acids, or their acyl CoA derivatives, may be the natural ligands of PPAR.

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LA Sigfrid, JM Cunningham, N Beeharry, S Lortz, M Tiedge, S Lenzen, C Carlsson, and IC Green

Pancreatic beta-cells have low activities of the antioxidant enzyme catalase. Nitric oxide interacts with the haem group of catalase inhibiting its activity. We have studied the activity of catalase in beta-cells under conditions mimicking prediabetes and in which nitric oxide is generated from cytokine treatment in vitro. We also studied whether there is regulation of catalase enzyme activity by nitric oxide at the protein or gene expression level. RINm5F insulin-producing cells, treated for 24 h with cytokines, showed increased medium nitrite production (17+/-2.2 vs 0.3+/-0.2 pmol/ micro g protein) and significantly decreased cellular catalase activity (42.4+/-4.5%) compared with control cells. A similar reduction was seen in catalase-overexpressing RIN-CAT cells and in rat or human pancreatic islets of Langerhans. Catalase activity was also suppressed by the long-acting nitric oxide donor diethylenetriamine/nitric oxide adduct (Deta-NO) and this inhibition was reversible. The inhibition of catalase activity by cytokines in RINm5F cells was significantly reversed by the addition of the nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) inhibitors nitro monomethylarginine or N-(3-(aminomethyl)benzyl)acetamidine (1400W). Protein expression was found to be unchanged in cytokine- or Deta-NO-treated RINm5F cells, while mRNA expression was marginally increased. We have shown that inhibition of catalase activity by cytokines is nitric oxide dependent and propose that this inhibition may confer increased susceptibility to cytokine- or nitric oxide-induced cell killing.