Biology open

The COP9 signalosome, cullin 3 and Keap1 supercomplex regulates CHOP stability and adipogenesis.

PMID 23213463


Obesity is one of the most serious health problems of the 21(st) century. It is associated with highly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease as well as several cancers. The expansion of the fat tissue needs the differentiation of preadipocytes to adipocytes, a process called adipogenesis. Dysfunction of adipogenesis is a hallmark of obesity and delineation of underlying mechanisms has high priority for identifying targets for pharmacological intervention. Here we investigate the impact of the COP9 signalosome (CSN), a regulator of cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases (CRLs), and of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) on the differentiation of LiSa-2 preadipocytes. CHOP induced by piceatannol or by permanent overexpression in LiSa-2 cells blocks adipocyte differentiation as characterized by inhibited fat droplet formation and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production. Knockdown of the CSN by permanent downregulation of CSN1 in LiSa-2 cells elevates CHOP and retards adipogenesis. The effect of the CSN knockdown on CHOP stability can be explained by the protection of the CRL component Keap1 by the CSN associated ubiquitin-specific protease 15 (USP15). Pulldowns and glycerol gradients reveal that CHOP interacts with a supercomplex consisting of the CSN, cullin 3 and Keap1. Transient knockdown of Keap1 increases CHOP steady state level and retards its degradation. We conclude that CHOP stability is controlled by a CSN-CRL3(Keap1) complex, which is crucial for adipogenesis. Our data show that CHOP is a distinguished target for pharmacological intervention of obesity.