Interferon regulatory factors are transcriptional regulators of adipogenesis

Eguchi J, Yan QW, Schones DE, Kamal M, Hsu CH, Zhang MQ, Crawford GE, Rosen ED

We have sought to identify transcriptional pathways in adipogenesis using an integrated experimental and computational approach. Here, we employ high-throughput DNase hypersensitivity analysis to find regions of altered chromatin structure surrounding key adipocyte genes. Regions that display differentiation-dependent changes in hypersensitivity were used to predict binding sites for proteins involved in adipogenesis. A high-scoring example was a binding motif for interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family members. Expression of all nine mammalian IRF mRNAs is regulated during adipogenesis, and several bind to the identified motifs in a differentiation-dependent manner. Furthermore, several IRF proteins repress differentiation. This analysis suggests an important role for IRF proteins in adipocyte biology and demonstrates the utility of this approach in identifying cis- and trans-acting factors not previously suspected to participate in adipogenesis.

Cell Metab. 2008 Jan;7(1):86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2007.11.002