Exercise brings changes on the chromatin ensuing the upregulation of many genes that confer protection from type 2 diabetes. In type-2 diabetes, critical genes are down-regulated such as those involved in glucose transport (GLUT4, MEF2A) and also oxidative phosphorylation (NRF-1 and its target genes). Recent reports have shown that NRF-1 not only regulate mitochondrial oxidative genes but also controls MEF2A, the main transcription factor for glucose transporter, GLUT4. Such dual control of the two pathways by NRF-1 place it as critical gene in the design of therapeutic modalities much needed to cure or better manage type 2 diabetes. Although it is known that NRF-1 controls these dual pathways (glucose transport and oxidative phosphorylation), the actual molecular mechanisms involved surrounding this regulation remains elusive. NRF-1 itself is regulated through posttranslational modifications (acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation) resulting in enhanced binding to its target genes. This study is therefore aimed at assessing whether CaMKII, a kinase activated by exercise brings about hyper-acetylation of histones in the vicinity of NRF-1 target gene, Mef2a. Five to six weeks old male Wistar rats were used in this study. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay was used to investigate the extent through which NRF-1 is bound to the Mef2a gene and if this was associated with hyper-acetylation of histones in the region of NRF-1 binding site of the Mef2a gene. Quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) was used to determine the gene expression of MEF2A and NRF-1. Results from this study indicated that exercise-induced CaMKII activation increased hyper-acetylation of histones in the region of NRF-1 binding site on vicinity of Mef2a gene and this was associated with the increased binding of NRF-1 to Mef2a gene. Exercise also increased the expression of NRF-1 and MEF2A genes. Administration of CaMKII inhibitor (KN93) prior to exercise attenuated the observed exercise-induced increase of NRF-1 and MEF2A expressions. In conclusion, this study demonstrated for the first time in our knowledge one mechanism through which NRF-1 regulates MEF2A, pathway critical in glucose transport.
Keywords: CaMKII; Exercise; Hyper-acetylation; MEF2A; NRF-1; Type 2 diabetes.
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