C/EBP transcription factors regulate SREBP1c gene expression during adipogenesis

Victoria A. Payne, Wo Shing Au, Christopher E. Lowe, Shaikh M. Rahman, Jacob E. Friedman, Stephen O'Rahilly, Justin J. Rochford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


The transcription factor SREBP1c (sterol-regulatory-elementbinding protein 1c) is highly expressed in adipose tissue and plays a central role in several aspects of adipocyte development including the induction of PPARγ (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ), the generation of an endogenous PPARγ ligand and the expression of several genes critical for lipid biosynthesis. Despite its significance, the regulation of SREBP1c expression during adipogenesis is not well characterized. We have noted that in severalmodels of adipogenesis, SREBP1c expression closely mimics that of known C/EBPβ (CCAAT/ enhancer-binding protein β) targets. Inhibition of C/EBP activity during adipogenesis by expressing either the dominant-negative C/ EBPβ LIP (liver-enriched inhibitory protein) isoform, the co-repressor ETO (eight-twenty one/MTG8) or using siRNAs (small interfering RNAs) targeting either C/EBPβ or C/EBPδ significantly impaired early SREBP1c induction. Furthermore, ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) assays identified specific sequences in the SREBP1c promoter to which C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ bind in intact cells, demonstrating that these factors may directly regulate SREBP1c expression. Using cells in which C/EBPα expression is inhibited using shRNA (short hairpin RNA) and ChIP assays we show that C/ EBPα replaces C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ as a regulator of SREBP1c expression in maturing adipocytes. These results provide novel insight into the induction of SREBP1c expression during adipogenesis. Moreover, the findings of the present study identify an important additional mechanism via which the C/EBP transcription factorsmay control a network of gene expression regulating adipogenesis, lipogenesis and insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Adipocyte
  • Adipogenesis
  • CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein(C/EBP)
  • Lipid
  • Sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein 1c(SREBP1c)
  • Transcription


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