Transcriptional Regulation of Adipocyte Differentiation: A Central Role for CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) {beta} [Gene Regulation]

December 1st, 2014 by Guo, L., Li, X., Tang, Q.-Q.

A detailed understanding of the processes controlling adipogenesis is instrumental in the fight against the obesity epidemic. Adipogenesis is controlled by a transcriptional cascade comprised of a large number of transcriptional factors, among which CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) β plays an essential role. During 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, C/EBPβ is induced early to transactivate the expression of C/EBPα and PPARγ, two master transcription factors for terminal adipocyte differentiation. Studies in recent years have revealed many new target genes of C/EBPβ, implicating its participation in many other processes during adipogenesis, such as mitotic clonal expansion (MCE), epigenetic regulation, unfolded protein response (UPR), and autophagy. Moreover, the function of C/EBPβ is highly regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), which are crucial for the proper activation of the adipogenic program. Advances towards elucidation of the function and roles of the post-translational modification of C/EBPβ during adipogenesis will greatly improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing adipogenesis.