Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Active form Notch4 promotes the proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes.

PMID 23237809


Adipose tissue is composed of adipocytes, which differentiate from precursor cells in a process called adipogenesis. Many signal molecules are involved in the transcriptional control of adipogenesis, including the Notch pathway. Previous adipogenic studies of Notch have focused on Notch1 and HES1; however, the role of other Notch receptors in adipogenesis remains unclear. Q-RT-PCR analyses showed that the augmentation of Notch4 expression during the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes was comparable to that of Notch1. To elucidate the role of Notch4 in adipogenesis, the human active form Notch4 (N4IC) was transiently transfected into 3T3-L1 cells. The expression of HES1, Hey1, C/EBPδ and PPARγ was up-regulated, and the expression of Pref-1, an adipogenic inhibitor, was down-regulated. To further characterize the effect of N4IC in adipogenesis, stable cells expressing human N4IC were established. The expression of N4IC promoted proliferation and enhanced differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells compared with those of control cells. These data suggest that N4IC promoted proliferation through modulating the ERK pathway and the cell cycle during the early stage of 3T3-L1 adipogenesis and facilitated differentiation through up-regulating adipogenic genes such as C/EBPα, PPARγ, aP2, LPL and HSL during the middle and late stages of 3T3-L1 adipogenesis.