Londoño Gentile T, Lu C, Lodato PM, Tse S, Olejniczak SH, Witze ES, Thompson CB, Wellen KE
During adipocyte differentiation, significant epigenomic changes occur in association with the implementation of the adipogenic program. We have previously shown that histone acetylation increases during differentiation in a manner dependent on acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) production by the enzyme ATP-citrate lyase (ACL). Whether ACL regulates nuclear targets in addition to histones during differentiation is not clear. In this study, we report that DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) levels in adipocytes are controlled in part by ACL and that silencing of DNMT1 can accelerate adipocyte differentiation. DNMT1 gene expression is induced early in 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation during mitotic clonal expansion and is critical for maintenance of DNA and histone H3K9 methylation patterns during this period. In the absence of DNMT1, adipocyte-specific gene expression and lipid accumulation occur precociously. Later in differentiation, DNMT1 levels decline in an ACL-dependent manner. ACL-mediated suppression of DNMT1 occurs at least in part by promoting expression of microRNA 148a (miR-148a), which represses DNMT1. Ectopic expression of miR-148a accelerates differentiation under standard conditions and can partially rescue a hypermethylation-mediated differentiation block. The data suggest a role for DNMT1 in modulating the timing of differentiation and describe a novel ACL-miR-148a-dependent mechanism for regulating DNMT1 during adipogenesis.