Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha, and cell cycle status regulate the commitment to adipocyte differentiation.

Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 09/1997; 272(34):21473-8. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.272.34.21473
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Terminal differentiation of stem cells is characterized by cessation of cell proliferation as well as changes in cell morphology associated with the differentiated state. For adipocyte differentiation, independent lines of evidence show that the transcription factors peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha) as well as the tumor suppressor retinoblastoma (Rb) protein are essential. How these proteins promote adipocyte conversion and how they function cooperatively during the differentiation process remain unclear. We have used retinoic acid (RA) inhibition of adipogenesis to investigate these issues. RA blocked adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells induced to differentiate by ectopic expression of PPARgamma and C/EBPalpha independently or together. However, under these circumstances RA was only effective at preventing adipogenesis when added prior to confluence, suggesting that factors involved in regulation of the cell cycle might play a role in establishing the commitment state of adipogenesis that is insensitive to RA. During differentiation of wild type 3T3 L1 preadipocytes, we found that Rb protein is hyperphosphorylated early in adipogenesis, corresponding to previously quiescent cells re-entering the cell cycle, and later becomes hypophosphorylated. The data suggest that, together with the coexpression of PPARgamma and C/EBPalpha, permanent exit from the cell cycle establishes the irreversible commitment to adipocyte differentiation.

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