Author(s): Gerin I, Bommer GT, McCoin CS, Sousa KM, Krishnan V,
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Abstract In this study, we explored the roles of microRNAs in adipocyte differentiation and metabolism. We first knocked down Argonaute2 (Ago2), a key enzyme in the processing of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), to investigate a potential role for miRNAs in adipocyte differentiation and/or metabolism. Although we did not observe dramatic differences in adipogenesis between Ago2 knock-down and control 3T3-L1 cells, incorporation of [(14)C]glucose or acetate into triacylglycerol, and steady-state levels of triacyglycerol were all reduced, suggesting a role for miRNAs in adipocyte metabolism. To study roles of specific miRNAs in adipocyte biology, we screened for miRNAs that are differentially expressed between preadipocytes and adipocytes for the 3T3-L1 and ST2 cell lines. Distinct subsets of miRNAs decline or increase during adipocyte conversion, whereas most miRNAs are not regulated. One locus encoding two miRNAs, 378/378*, contained within the intron of PGC-1beta is highly induced during adipogenesis. When overexpressed in ST2 mesenchymal precursor cells, miRNA378/378* increases the size of lipid droplets and incorporation of [(14)C]acetate into triacylglycerol. Although protein and mRNA expression levels of C/EBPalpha, C/EBPbeta, C/EBPdelta, and PPARgamma1 are unchanged, microarray and quantitative RT-PCR analyses indicate that a set of lipogenic genes are upregulated, perhaps due to increased expression of PPARgamma2. Knock-down of miRNA378 and/or miRNA378* decreases accumulation of triacylglycerol. Interestingly, we made the unexpected finding that miRNA378/378* specifically increases transcriptional activity of C/EBPalpha and C/EBPbeta on adipocyte gene promoters.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences