PPARδ belongs to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear receptors. Upon activation by an agonist, PPARδ controls a variety of physiological processes via regulation of its target genes. 15-Deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) is a cyclopentenone prostaglandin that features an electrophilic, α,β-unsaturated ketone (an enone) in the cyclopentenone ring. Many of 15d-PGJ2’s biological effects result from covalent interaction between C9 and the thiol group of a catalytic cysteine (Cys) in target proteins. In this study, we investigated whether 15d-PGJ2 activates PPARδ by forming a covalent adduct. Our data show that 15d-PGJ2 activates PPARδ’s transcriptional activity through formation of a covalent adduct between its endocyclic enone at C9 and Cys249 in the receptor’s ligand-binding domain. As expected, no adduct formation was seen following a Cys-to-Ser mutation at residue 249 (C249S) of PPARδ or with a PGD2/PGJ2 analogue that lacks the electrophilic C9. Furthermore, the PPARδ C249S mutation weakened induction of the receptor’s DNA binding activity by 15d-PGJ2, which highlights the biological significance of our findings. Calculated chemical properties as well as data from molecular orbital calculations, reactive molecular dynamics simulations, and intrinsic reaction coordinate modeling also supported the selectivity of 15d-PGJ2’s C9 toward PPARδ’s Cys thiol. In summary, our results provide the molecular, chemical, and structural basis of 15d-PGJ2-mediated PPARδ activation, designating 15d-PGJ2 as the first covalent PPARδ ligand to be identified.
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Date of publication: 6 November 2018; ACS Chemical Biology
Author information: Aravind T. Reddy (1,2); Sowmya P. Lakshmi (1,2); Asoka Banno (1); & Raju C. Reddy (1,2)
(1) Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States
(2) Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA 15240, United States