Author(s): Liu J, Farmer SR
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Abstract The differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes requires the suppression of canonical Wnt signaling, which appears to involve a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma)-associated targeting of beta-catenin to the proteasome. In fact, sustained activation of beta-catenin by expression of Wnt1 or Wnt 10b in preadipocytes blocks adipogenesis by inhibiting PPARgamma-associated gene expression. In this report, we investigated the mechanisms regulating the balance between beta-catenin and PPARgamma signaling that determines whether mouse fibroblasts differentiate into adipocytes. Specifically, we show that activation of PPARgamma by exposure of Swiss mouse fibroblasts to troglitazone stimulates the degradation of beta-catenin, which depends on glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3beta activity. Mutation of serine 37 (a target of GSK3beta) to an alanine renders beta-catenin resistant to the degradatory action of PPARgamma. Ectopic expression of the GSK3beta phosphorylation-defective S37A-beta-catenin in Swiss mouse fibroblasts expressing PPARgamma stimulates the canonical Wnt signaling pathway without blocking their troglitazone-dependent differentiation into lipid-laden cells. Analysis of protein expression in these cells, however, shows that S37A-beta-catenin inhibits a select set of adipogenic genes because adiponectin expression is completely blocked, but FABP4/aP2 expression is unaffected. Furthermore, the mutant beta-catenin appears to have no affect on the ability of PPARgamma to bind to or transactivate a PPAR response element. The S37A-beta-catenin-associated inhibition of adiponectin expression coincides with an extensive decrease in the abundance of C/EBPalpha in the nuclei of the differentiated mouse fibroblasts. Taken together, these data suggest that GSKbeta is a key regulator of the balance between beta-catenin and PPARgamma activity and that activation of canonical Wnt signaling downstream of PPARgamma blocks expression of a select subset of adipogenic genes.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology