High dietary fat selectively increases catalase expression within cardiac mitochondria

Paul M. Rindler, Scott M. Plafker, Luke I. Szweda, Michael Kinter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Background: High dietary fat is linked to cardiac oxidative stress, however, little is known about the endogenous antioxidant response. Results: High fat feeding and fasting rapidly up-regulate catalase. Conclusion: Up-regulation of catalase is designed to protect mitochondria from oxidative damage while not perturbing H2O2-mediated signaling. Significance: Coupling fatty acid oxidation to H2O2 production creates a mechanism for sensing and communicating diet composition. Obesity is a predictor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One consequence of obesity is dyslipidemia characterized by high blood triglycerides. It has been proposed that oxidative stress, driven by utilization of lipids for energy, contributes to these diseases. The effects of oxidative stress are mitigated by an endogenous antioxidant enzyme network, but little is known about its response to high fat utilization. Our experiments used a multiplexed quantitative proteomics method to measure antioxidant enzyme expression in heart tissue in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. This experiment showed a rapid and specific up-regulation of catalase protein, with subsequent assays showing increases in activity and mRNA. Catalase, traditionally considered a peroxisomal protein, was found to be present in cardiac mitochondria and significantly increased in content and activity during high fat feeding. These data, coupled with the fact that fatty acid oxidation enhances mitochondrialH 2O2 production, suggest that a localized catalase increase is needed to consume excessive mitochondrial H2O2 produced by increased fat metabolism. To determine whether the catalase-specific response is a common feature of physiological conditions that increase blood triglycerides and fatty acid oxidation, we measured changes in antioxidant expression in fasted versus fed mice. Indeed, a similar specific catalase increase was observed in mice fasted for 24 h. Our findings suggest a fundamental metabolic process in which catalase expression is regulated to prevent damage while preserving anH2O2-mediated sensing of diet composition that appropriately adjusts insulin sensitivity in the short term as needed to prioritize lipid metabolism for complete utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1979-1990
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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