Transcriptional activation of histone H4 by C/EBPβ during the mitotic clonal expansion of 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation

You You Zhang, Xi Li, Shu Wen Qian, Liang Guo, Hai Yan Huang, Qun He, Yuan Liu, Chun Gu Ma, Qi Qun Tang

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34 Scopus citations


CCAAT enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ) is required for both mitotic clonal expansion (MCE) and terminal differentiation during the 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation program. Whereas the mechanism of C/EBPβ during terminal differentiation is well understood, the mechanism of C/EBPβ in MCE is not. We provide evidence that histone H4, the most conserved cell cycle-related histone, the change of which is strictly correlated with DNA content change during the cell cycle, is transcriptionally activated by C/EBPβ during MCE. Expression of histone H4 is increased at 16 h after induction when 3T3-L1 preadipocytes synchronously reenter S phase, which is correlated with the sequential phosphorylation and activation of C/EBPβ, and expression was partially suppressed when A-C/EBP (dominant negative for C/EBP protein) was overexpressed. One C/EBP-binding site was identified in one of the histone H4 gene promoters (hist4h4), confirmed by both electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. C/EBP-binding sites were also found in 9 of 11 other histone H4 promoters, which can also be transactivated by C/EBPβ. Knockdown of C/EBPβ by stealth small interfering RNA partially decreased H4 gene expression and arrested cells in G1 phase as indicated by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis of DNA content. This study provides new insights into why C/EBPβ is required for MCE during 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation and why C/EBPβ plays important roles in the proliferation of other cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2165-2174
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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