Protein restriction during gestation alters histone modifications at the glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) promoter region and induces GLUT4 expression in skeletal muscle of female rat offspring

Shasha Zheng, Michelle Rollet, Yuan Xiang Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Maternal nutrition during pregnancy is an intrauterine factor that results in alteration of the offspring genome and associates with disease risk in the offspring. We investigated the impact of a maternal low-protein (LP) diet on the expression of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) in offspring skeletal muscle. GLUT4 is an insulin-regulated glucose transporter involved in insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism in muscle cells. We observed sex-dependent GLUT4 mRNA expression and increased GLUT4 protein content in female pup skeletal muscle with maternal LP. Analysis of transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of increased skeletal muscle GLUT4 expression in offspring rats revealed the regulatory mechanisms involved. The protein level of myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A), which has been known as an activator of GLUT4 transcription via the ability to carry out specific binding to the GLUT4 MEF2 binding sequence, increased in female pups whose mothers were fed a LP diet. Modifications of chromatin structure, including acetylated histone H3, acetylated histone H4 and di-methylated histone H3 at lysine 4, were detected at a significantly increased level at the GLUT4 promoter region in female pup muscle following a maternal LP diet. Glycogen content was also detected as up-regulated, accompanied by increased glycogen synthase in LP female offspring muscle. These results document that maternal protein restriction during pregnancy induces GLUT4 expression in female offspring skeletal muscle but not in males, which may indicate sex-dependent adaptation of glucose metabolism to a maternal LP diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1071
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Developmental programming
  • Epigenetics
  • Gestational nutrition
  • Thrifty phenotype hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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