E2F1 Regulates Adipocyte Differentiation and Adipogenesis by Activating ICAT Academic Article uri icon


  • Wnt/β-catenin is a crucial repressor of adipogenesis. We have shown that E2 promoter binding factor 1 (E2F1) suppresses Wnt/β-catenin activity through transactivation of β-catenin interacting protein 1 (CTNNBIP1), also known as inhibitor of β-catenin and TCF4 (ICAT) in human colorectal cancers. However, it remains unknown whether ICAT is required for E2F1 to promote differentiation by inhibiting β-catenin activity in pre-adipocytes. In the present study, we found that 1-methyl-3-isobutylxanthine, dexamethasone, and insulin (MDI)-induced differentiation and lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes was reversed by activation of β-catenin triggered by CHIR99021, a GSK3β inhibitor. Intriguingly, we observed a reduced protein level of E2F1 and ICAT at a later stage of pre-adipocytes differentiation. Importantly, overexpression of ICAT in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes markedly promote the adipogenesis and partially reversed the inhibitory effect of CHIR99021 on MDI-induced adipogenesis and lipid accumulation by regulating adipogenic regulators and Wnt/β-catenin targets. Moreover, pre-adipocytes differentiation induced by MDI were markedly inhibited in siE2F1 or siICAT transfected 3T3-L1 cells. Gene silencing of ICAT in the E2F1 overexpressed adipocytes also inhibited the adipogenesis. These data indicated that E2F1 is a metabolic regulator with an ability to promote pre-adipocyte differentiation by activating ICAT, therefore represses Wnt/β-catenin activity in 3T3-L1 cells. We also demonstrated that ICAT overexpression did not affect oleic acid-induced lipid accumulation at the surface of Hela and HepG2 cells. In conclusion, we show that E2F1 is a critical regulator with an ability to promote differentiation and adipogenesis by activating ICAT in pre-adipocytes.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, J., Yang, Y., Li, S., Yang, Y., Dai, Z., Wang, F., ... Wu, G.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • January 1, 2020 11:11 AM
  • April 2020

published in