Adipocyte differentiation is tightly controlled by a transcriptional cascade, which directs the extensive reprogramming of gene expression required to convert fibroblast-like precursor cells into mature lipid-laden adipocytes. Recent global analyses of transcription factor binding and chromatin remodeling have revealed 'snapshots' of this cascade and the chromatin landscape at specific time-points of differentiation. These studies demonstrate that multiple adipogenic transcription factors co-occupy hotspots characterized by an open chromatin structure and specific epigenetic modifications. Such transcription factor hotspots are likely to represent key signaling nodes which integrate multiple adipogenic signals at specific chromatin sites, thereby facilitating coordinated action on gene expression.
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