The spatial repositioning of adipogenesis genes is correlated with their expression status in a porcine mesenchymal stem cell adipogenesis model system

Izabela Szczerbal, Helen A Foster, Joanna M Bridger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Alterations in the nuclear positioning of chromosomes and specific genes during differentiation and development have suggested strongly the existence of a relationship between non-random organization of the genome and its function. In this study, we have examined the genome organization in interphase nuclei during adipogenesis, using the pig as a model organism. We hypothesized that changes in the gene expression profile and chromatin remodeling which occur during cellular differentiation would elicit repositioning of whole chromosomes, moving specific genes on them to different regions of the nucleus. We established an in vitro adipogenesis differentiation system using mesenchymal stem cells, derived from porcine bone marrow. The nuclear position of seven adipogenesis genes (PPARG, SREBF1, FABP4, CEBPA, CEBPB, CREB, and GATA2), two control genes (SOX9 and MYL1), and six chromosomes carrying these gene loci (SSC4, SSC6, SSC12, SSC13, SSC15, and SSC17) was determined. We found that during adipogenesis, using the in vitro stem cell model system, in contrast to our original hypothesis, the nuclear position of genes involved in adipogenesis was altered radically with the up-regulation of gene expression correlating with these genes becoming more internally located within nuclei. Chromosome territories, containing these genes, were also found to alter their nuclear position during the in vitro adipogenesis model, with the most dramatic repositioning being SSC4 that moved from the nuclear periphery towards the nuclear interior. We found that during in vitro adipogenesis chromosome territories decondensed and the genes were found on loops and projections of chromatin, away from the main body of the chromosomes. From our data, it appears that the temporal repositioning of genes, emanating away from chromosomes, during adipogenesis is correlated with gene activity, supporting models of the involvement of spatial genome repositioning in regulating gene expression and the nuclear interior being an important region of the nucleus for transcription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-63
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Adipogenesis/genetics
  • Animals
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins/genetics
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • GATA2 Transcription Factor/genetics
  • Gene Expression/physiology
  • Genes/physiology
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells/metabolism
  • PPAR gamma/genetics
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1/genetics
  • Swine/genetics


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