Reciprocal Regulation of Adipogenesis by Myc and C/EBPα

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Science  17 Apr 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5055, pp. 379-382
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5055.379


3T3-L1 adipoblasts that express large amounts of c-Myc cannot terminally differentiate, raising the possibility that Myc inhibits the expression of genes that promote adipogenesis. The CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBPα) is induced during 3T3-L1 adipogenesis when cells commit to the differentiation pathway. Transfection of 3T3-L1 adipoblasts with the gene that encodes C/EBPα caused overt expression of the adipocyte morphology. Expression of Myc prohibited the normal induction of C/EBPα and prevented adipogenesis. Enforced expression of C/EBPα overcame the Myc-induced block to differentiation. These results provide a molecular basis for the regulation of adipogenesis and implicate Myc and C/EBPα as pivotal controlling elements.