Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 29;103(35):13022-7. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Stable stem cell commitment to the adipocyte lineage by inhibition of DNA methylation: role of the BMP-4 gene.

Author information

Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Previous studies showed that exposure of C3H10T1/2 stem cells to bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) produced cells that convert into adipocytes at high frequency when treated with differentiation inducers. In the present investigation, an independent approach shows that BMP-4 is required for stable commitment of pluripotent stem cells to the adipocyte lineage. Exposure of proliferating 10T1/2 stem cells to 5-azacytidine, a potent DNA methylation inhibitor, gave rise to a subpopulation of cells that can be cloned and that have the capacity to undergo conversion into adipocytes upon treatment with terminal differentiation inducers. Detailed studies performed with a cloned committed subline, the A33 line, verified stable adipocyte lineage determination in the absence of exogenous BMP-4. Remarkably, this cell line expresses and secretes BMP-4 during proliferation in the same time window that exogenous BMP-4 must be added to naïve 10T1/2 cells to induce maximal adipocyte commitment. Furthermore, exposure of A33 cells to noggin, a naturally occurring BMP-4-binding antagonist, during this critical time window blocks subsequent differentiation. The role of BMP-4 in adipocyte lineage commitment is further strengthened by gene expression profiling of proliferating 10T1/2 stem cells and A33 preadipocytes. These findings revealed changes in the molecular circuitry, specifically coordinated changes in the expression of members of the BMP-4 signaling pathway, that distinguish A33 preadipocytes from uncommitted parental 10T1/2 stem cells. Together, these studies provide compelling evidence for the participation of BMP-4 in adipocyte lineage determination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center