BET bromodomain proteins regulate enhancer function during adipogenesis

Brown, Jonathan D.; Feldman, Zachary B.; Doherty, Sean P.; Reyes, Jaime M.; Rahl, Peter B.; Lin, Charles Y.; Sheng, Quanhu; Duan, Qiong; Federation, Alexander J.; Kung, Andrew L.; Haldar, Saptarsi M.; Young, Richard A.; Plutzky, Jorge; Bradner, James E.

Developmental transitions are guided by master regulatory transcription factors. During adipogenesis, a transcriptional cascade culminates in the expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα, which orchestrate activation of the adipocyte gene expression program. However, the coactivators controlling PPARγ and C/EBPα expression are less well characterized. Here, we show the bromodomain-containing protein, BRD4, regulates transcription of PPARγ and C/EBPα. Analysis of BRD4 chromatin occupancy reveals that induction of adipogenesis in 3T3L1 fibroblasts provokes dynamic redistribution of BRD4 to de novo super-enhancers proximal to genes controlling adipocyte differentiation. Inhibition of the bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) family of bromodomain-containing proteins impedes BRD4 occupancy at these de novo enhancers and disrupts transcription of Pparg and Cebpa, thereby blocking adipogenesis. Furthermore, silencing of these BRD4-occupied distal regulatory elements at the Pparg locus by CRISPRi demonstrates a critical role for these enhancers in the control of Pparg gene expression and adipogenesis in 3T3L1s. Together, these data establish BET bromodomain proteins as time- and context-dependent coactivators of the adipocyte cell state transition.


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November 2, 2018