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Biochem J. 2002 Oct 1;367(Pt 1):203-8.

Genistein inhibits CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) activity and 3T3-L1 adipogenesis by increasing C/EBP homologous protein expression.

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Department of Nutrition, CB# 7461 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, U.S.A.


The tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein inhibits 3T3-L1 adipogenesis when present during the first 72 h of differentiation. In this report, we investigated the underlying mechanisms involved in the anti-adipogenic effects of genistein. We found that genistein blocked the DNA binding and transcriptional activity of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) during differentiation by promoting the expression of C/EBP homologous protein, a dominant-negative member of the C/EBP family. Loss of C/EBPbeta activity was manifested as a loss of differentiation-induced C/EBPalpha and peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma protein expression and a dramatic reduction in lipid accumulation. Further, we documented for the first time that C/EBPbeta was tyrosine-phosphorylated in vivo during differentiation and in vitro by activated epidermal growth factor receptor. Genistein inhibited both of these events. Collectively, these results indicate that genistein blocks adipogenesis and C/EBPbeta activity by increasing the level of C/EBP homologous protein and possibly by inhibiting the tyrosine phosphorylation of C/EBPbeta.

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