DOI: 10.1111/acel.13961 ISSN:

AAV‐Mediated nuclear localized PGC1α4 delivery in muscle ameliorates sarcopenia and aging‐associated metabolic dysfunctions

Mingwei Guo, Jun Zhang, Ying Ma, Zhenzhong Zhu, Hui Zuo, Jing Yao, Xia Wu, Dongmei Wang, Jian Yu, Meiyao Meng, Caizhi Liu, Yi Zhang, Jiangrong Chen, Jian Lu, Shuzhe Ding, Cheng Hu, Xinran Ma, Lingyan Xu
  • Cell Biology
  • Aging


Sarcopenia is characterized of muscle mass loss and functional decline in elder individuals which severely affects human physical activity, metabolic homeostasis, and life quality. Physical exercise is considered effective in combating muscle atrophy and sarcopenia, yet it is not feasible to elders with limited mobility. PGC‐1α4, a short isoform of PGC‐1α, is strongly induced in muscle under resistance training, and promotes muscle hypertrophy. In the present study, we showed that the transcriptional levels and nuclear localization of PGC1α4 was reduced during aging, accompanied with muscle dystrophic morphology, and gene programs. We thus designed NLS‐PGC1α4 and ectopically express it in myotubes to enhance PGC1α4 levels and maintain its location in nucleus. Indeed, NLS‐PGC1α4 overexpression increased muscle sizes in myotubes. In addition, by utilizing AAV‐NLS‐PGC1α4 delivery into gastrocnemius muscle, we found that it could improve sarcopenia with grip strength, muscle weights, fiber size and molecular phenotypes, and alleviate age‐associated adiposity, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis, accompanied with altered gene signatures. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that NLS‐PGC‐1α4 improved insulin signaling and enhanced glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Besides, via RNA‐seq analysis, we identified myokines IGF1 and METRNL as potential targets of NLS‐PGC‐1α4 that possibly mediate the improvement of muscle and adipose tissue functionality and systemic energy metabolism in aged mice. Moreover, we found a negative correlation between PGC1α4 and age in human skeletal muscle. Together, our results revealed that NLS‐PGC1α4 overexpression improves muscle physiology and systematic energy homeostasis during aging and suggested it as a potent therapeutic strategy against sarcopenia and aging‐associated metabolic diseases.

More from our Archive