Although skeletal muscle cells and adipocytes are derived from the same mesoderm, they do not transdifferentiate in vivo and are strictly distinct at the level of gene expression. To elucidate some of the regulatory mechanisms underlying this strict distinction, Pax7, a myogenic factor, was ectopically expressed in 3T3-L1 adipose progenitor cells to perturb their adipocyte differentiation potential. Transcriptome analysis showed that ectopic expression of Pax7 repressed the expression of some adipocyte genes and induced expression of some skeletal muscle cell genes. We next profiled the epigenomic state altered by Pax7 expression using H3K27ac, an activating histone mark, and H3K27me3, a repressive histone mark, as indicators. Our results show that ectopic expression of Pax7 did not result in the formation of H3K27ac at loci of skeletal muscle-related genes, but instead resulted in the formation of H3K27me3 at adipocyte-related gene loci. These findings suggest that the primary function of ectopic Pax7 expression is the formation of H3K27me3, and muscle gene expression results from secondary regulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes